NEW YORK, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - Five hundred migrants have died just in September in the Mediterranean, UN Committee Chair on Migrant Workers Francisco Carrion-Mena said.
Carrion-Mena made the statement when addressing on Friday the UN General Assembly's Third Committee on the situation of migrant workers.
He said that among the 500 migrants were 100 children. They all drowned in the middle of the Mediterranean when smugglers rammed their boat.
Turning to the Persian Gulf, Carrion-Mena said that "Qatar has acknowledged that almost 1000 migrants died over the past two years in work-related incidents and illnesses."
Off the coast of Italy in 2013, Carrion-Mena said that "300 immigrants died when their boat sank off Lampedusa and we have since seen further tragedies."
International Organization for Migration (IOM) figures show that in 2014 until the month of September more than 3,000 people have died in the Mediterranean, while there have been 230 deaths along the US-Mexican border.
Mexico is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
Carrion-Mena said that only 47 States have signed on since the Convention was adopted almost 25 years ago. The United States did not sign the convention.
As to family members, Carrion-Mena said that "children should not be detained based on their migratory status or that of their parents as this constitutes a child's rights violation."
Emphasizing the benefits migrant workers bring to host countries, Carrion-Mena said that "migrants make significant and essential contributions to the economic, social and cultural development to their host countries and their communities back home. But too often these contributions go unrecognized."
Carrion-Mena concluded by saying that "the lack of political will to stand up for migrant workers' rights is the biggest challenge to the protection of this very vulnerable group of human beings."