The EU's new migration deal "will cost more lives at sea", the Sea-Watch rescue charity said Wednesday, in a statement it said was backed by more than a dozen NGOs.

"Not one single life will be saved by today's decision. This agreement is a historic failure and a bow to the right-wing parties of Europe," the charities' statement read.

Sea-Watch is one of several organisations operating ships in the Mediterranean to rescue migrants who try to reach Europe on small boats.

The central Med crossing, between North Africa and Italy and Malta, is the world's deadliest migration route, with more than 2,200 deaths this year alone, according to the UN.

The Sea-Watch statement -- also signed by the Alarm Phone migrant hotline, Sea-Eye and SOS Humanity among others -- says the EU reform agreement is "a turning point and one of the most blatant displays of disrespect to human rights and the suffering along European borders".

"With the agreement on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the EU has decided to formalise a status quo where violence, neglect, torture and leaving people to die are every day practice," it said.

It said the bloc "missed the chance to agree on core mechanisms to put an end to the dying at sea".

"Instead, the EU institutions have decided to actively gut the rights of those seeking protection, legalising the violations of EU asylum law by the member states," it said.

The deal would "restrict access to protection in Europe by introducing fast-track asylum procedures at the border to speed up returns", it said.

It said the plans would "isolate refugees from the rest of society, detain them in remote camps and prevent any form of integration".

It added that the agreement offered "no safe and legal routes" to seek protection in the European Union.

"All of this will force more people to try to flee by sea, and choose ever more dangerous routes. Again and again, more lives will be lost," it said.