The United Nations' refugee agency has called on European Union countries to take responsibility for 150 migrants stranded aboard an Italian coast guard ship and urging Italy to let the migrants off the ship immediately.
"The time has come to end the back-and-forth that has seen countries competing in a race to the bottom on who can take the least responsibility for people rescued at sea," the UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said.
"It is dangerous and immoral to put the lives of refugees and asylum seekers at risk while states engage in a political tug-of-war on long-term solutions," Grandi added in a statement released on August 25.
The migrants are on the Diciotti, an Italian coast guard ship docked in Catania since August 20.
Italy's government is refusing to let it disembark passengers unless other EU nations pledge to take them.