WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Over 100 people, including children, are feared dead after their boat sank off southern Italy. 62 people have been confirmed dead, with 12 children among the victims, including a baby.
- The boat, carrying approximately 200 people, broke apart while attempting to land near Crotone on Sunday. People from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Iran were said to be on board.
- 80 people were found alive, with many more remaining unaccounted for. The survivors are heavily traumatized and are being offered support from local charities.
More than 100 people, including children, are feared to have died after a boat carrying around 200 migrants sank off the southern coast of Italy.
The vessel broke apart on Sunday while attempting to land near Crotone. So far, 62 people have been confirmed dead, with 12 children among the victims, including a baby. The remaining passengers are largely unaccounted for, with only 80 survivors being found so far. Many of those on board are thought to be from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
The migrants were attempting to cross the Mediterranean, which has long been a perilous route for those seeking a better life. Despite the dangers, many continue to make the journey in search of safety and security. The survivors of this latest tragedy are heavily traumatised, with some having lost their entire families. Local charities, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), are offering support to those affected by the disaster.
MSF’s Sergio Di Dato described the survivors as “heavily traumatised,” adding, “some children have lost their whole family. We are offering them all the support we can.”
The tragedy has once again drawn attention to the dangers faced by migrants and refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean. The UN’s Secretary General, António Guterres, called on countries to provide “safe, orderly, legal routes” for those seeking refuge, and to strengthen search and rescue operations. He highlighted the fact that criminal gangs continue to control many migration routes, putting the lives of migrants and refugees at risk.
Speaking at the UN’s Human Rights Council, Guterres said, “Refugee and migrant rights are human rights.”
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed “deep sorrow” at the news of the tragedy. She blamed the deaths on traffickers who profit from the desperation of migrants and refugees. Meloni was elected partly on a pledge to stem the flow of migrants into Italy, and her government is committed to preventing further tragedies like this one.
“The government is committed to preventing departures, and with them the unfolding of these tragedies, and will continue to do so,” she said.