22 June 2012: UNHCR is deeply concerned to hear about yesterday’s tragic boat accident between Indonesia and Australia.
While the rescue effort is still under way, it appears that a number of people – presumed to be asylum-seekers – have lost their lives.
This accident again underscores the dangerous nature of these hazardous journeys, and the desperate and dangerous measures people will resort to when they are fleeing persecution in their home countries.
It also reinforces the need for renewed international solidarity and cooperation to find protection options for people that would help to reduce the need for these perilous journeys by boat.
UNHCR calls on Australia and countries in the region to redouble their efforts to provide safer and more secure options for people to find protection other than through these dangerous and exploitative boat journeys.
At this time, UNHCR expresses its appreciation for the rescue efforts being undertaken, and its solidarity and sympathy for the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy.