The UN Refugee Agency has called for “urgent action” to stem the humanitarian crisis of migrants trying to reach Europe.
More than 3,000 people died or disappeared in 2021 as they tried to reach Europe by sea, according to a new report from the agency. Another 478 people are dead or missing so far in 2022.
“Most of the sea crossings took place in packed, unseaworthy inflatable boats – many of which capsized or deflated, resulting in death,” Friday’s report said.
The deaths come amid a dramatic rise in recent years in the number of Africans desperate to reach Europe. Last year, Italy alone reported the arrival of 13,203 children by sea, most of them, 10,053, unaccompanied.
Migrants come from dozens of African countries, usually passing through Mediterranean ports in Libya, Tunisia and Algeria, and Atlantic ports in Mauritania and Senegal.
Many victims die trying to reach the Canary Islands, a Spanish territory off the coast of Morocco, a journey on the high seas that can take up to 10 days.
“Many boats have strayed off course or disappeared without a trace in these waters,” according to the UN Refugee Agency,
Desperate migrants also endure “unspeakable violations of their human rights” as they attempt to reach Europe.
New York Post