FILE - In this Wednesday April 17, 2019 file photo, The Proactiva's Open Arms rescue boat sits docked in Barcelona, Spain. A judge in Sicily has dropped an investigation against two member of the Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms deriving from a tense high-seas standoff last year when the crew refused to hand over 218 migrants rescued at sea to the Libyan coast guard. Proactiva welcomed the decision to drop the investigation into criminal association and aiding illegal migration Wednesday, calling it ‘’an additional step toward the truth.’’ The group stated that it has always operated according to international roles. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)

ROME (AP) — The Latest on migration to Europe (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

British and French authorities have stopped 29 migrants who tried to cross the English Channel is three small boats over the weekend.

The French maritime authority for the Channel and North Sea said a patrol ship spotted a boat carrying nine migrants, including one minor, off the coast of the Cape of Gris-Nez on Sunday. The nine were suffering light hypothermia and were handed over to border police in Calais.

The British Home Office, meanwhile, said 20 migrants on two boats were intercepted Saturday off the Kent Coast. The migrants, including a 12-year-old, were handed to immigration officials in Dover. The group said they were from Iraq and Iran.

Illegal migrant crossings across the English Channel are on the rise in recent weeks despite joint British-French efforts to crack down on them.

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1 p.m.

U.N. human rights investigators have told Italy that a proposed decree formalizing the closure of Italian ports to aid groups that rescue migrants at sea violates international law.

In a letter to Italy's government, the investigators said the decree appears to be "yet another political attempt to criminalize search and rescue operations" that "further intensifies the climate of hostility and xenophobia against migrants."

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, a hard-line populist, has proposed the decree ahead of the European Parliament elections this week, where nationalist, anti-migrant parties are hoping to make strong gains.

The letter from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the measures would violate migrants' human rights, which are enshrined in U.N. conventions. It said Italy is obliged to rescue migrants in distress and cannot impede others from doing so.

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 file photo, a baby is loaded into the rescue vessel of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after being rescued in the Central Mediterranean Sea at 45 miles (72 kilometers) from Al Khums, Libya. A judge in Sicily has dropped an investigation against two member of the Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms deriving from a tense high-seas standoff last year when the crew refused to hand over 218 migrants rescued at sea to the Libyan coast guard. Proactiva welcomed the decision to drop the investigation into criminal association and aiding illegal migration Wednesday, calling it ‘’an additional step toward the truth.’’ The group stated that it has always operated according to international roles. (AP Photo/Olmo Calvo, File)
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