Three young girls die on Greek shores, in yet another shipwreck tragedy

Statement by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe Regina De Dominicis.

Flüchtlingsschiff auf dem Mittelmeer.

“Three girls aged 5, 7 and 10 years old died on the shores of Chios, Greece this week, in yet another tragic shipwreck. Two of them were sisters. Our deepest sympathies are with the children’s families.

“This tragic event serves as a painful reminder that more needs to be done to protect children and their families making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum, safety and peace in Europe.

“Half of all children arriving in Europe to seek safety and asylum have been driven from their home countries by conflict and war, meaning that their childhoods have already been marred by horror. It is our collective responsibility and legal obligation to ensure their best interests are upheld.”

“Yesterday, Members of the European Parliament approved the new Migration and Asylum Pact. UNICEF urges Member States to ground the implementation of policies outlined in the Pact in child rights and EU and international law. This includes ensuring coordinated search and rescue operations that help prevent deaths at sea.”