More than 150 children have died crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy – UNICEF

According to UNICEF estimates, more than 150 children have died crossing the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy so far this year. Since the start of the year, nearly 37,000 refugees and migrants, 13

mig

In this May 25, 2016 file combo made with pictures made available the the Italian Navy, people try to jump in the water right before their boat overturns off the Libyan coast. (AFP Photo/via Italian Navy)

Since the start of the year, nearly 37,000 refugees and migrants, 13 percent of whom are children, have reached Italy by sea via the Central Mediterranean, an increase of 42 percent when compared to the same time period in 2016. This increase comes despite the grave risks involved in

This increase comes despite the grave risks involved in travelling one of the most perilous migration routes in the world. At least 849 people have been lost at sea along the route since January.

“It is deeply concerning that vulnerable person, including thousands of children, are risking their lives to reach Europe’s shores using this incredibly dangerous route,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe. “This is further evidence that when safe and legal pathways to migration are cut off, desperate children and families will do whatever they can to flee conflict, poverty and deprivation.”

Even over the past few days, calmer waters and warmer weather in the Mediterranean have been accompanied by a surge in refugees and migrants attempting to cross. During the Easter weekend alone, more than 8,300 people were rescued from the sea between Libya and Italy.

More attempted crossings bring more death, with eight migrants reported to have drowned over the weekend. The fatality rate for the Central Mediterranean migrant route currently stands at 3 percent for 2017.

The number of unaccompanied and separated children risking their lives on the Central Mediterranean has also dramatically increased, with 1,875 arriving in Italy during January and February this year – a 40 percent increase over 2016.

Advertisements


Categories: Human interest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: