The United Nations is not considering setting up holding camps in North Africa and the Middle East to prevent migrants from making the dangerous sea crossing to Europe.

Contrary to what was reported in The Guardian, an influential UK newspaper, the UN refugee agency insisted it would only explore external processing “under the right circumstances and with adequate safeguards”.

A spokesman for UNHCR in Malta told Times of Malta the agency “was not considering holding camps” as an alternative to address the challenges of refugees and migrants risking their lives at sea.

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