They died in a desperate attempt to escape death, swallowed up by the water while trying to reach Europe. In last week alone, 880 migrants and refugees lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. Men, women and children, victims of the poverty in which they were forced to live or fleeing a war they did not declare. They were victims twice: evicted from their homes and killed during a so-called journeys of hope.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) presented a dark appraisal Tuesday of the migrant crisis’ dramatic figures. The numbers led the refugee agency to declare this “a particularly deadly year” for those fleeing hunger and war. At the same time, the resettlement process is moving grindingly slow — so slow that the European Commission threatened infringement proceedings against states that still refuse to welcome asylum seekers.
The Central Mediterranean route, which leads from Libya to Italy, is confirmed once again as the most dangerous in the world. Of the 2,510 migrants who have lost their lives, starting out from Africa or Turkey since the beginning of the year until the end of May (compared to 1,855 in the same period of 2015), 2,119 died in the Strait of Sicily.