This Baby Was 1 Of More Than 1,000 Killed This Week Due To The Refugee Crisis
WARNING: This article contains disturbing images.
Over 1,000 people died or went missing in the Mediterranean Sea last week in attempts to reach Europe.
The refugee crisis became mainstream news at the end of last summer, especially after the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi was found on a beach in Turkey.
Since then, attention to the crisis quieted. It only comes up when there are terror attacks in Europe, such as in Paris and Brussels over the past year, because of fears they are carried out by migrants. Most of the attackers were born in France or Belgium.
Although public attention on the refugee crisis has fallen, it's still going on in devastating ways.
With the summer heating up the Mediterranean, more migrants are attempting to cross the sea. The route from Turkey to Greece has been slowed due to a new deal between Turkey and the European Union, which includes sending refugees back to Turkey.
But the migrant path from northern Africa to Italy is still largely open. Boats filled with migrants are coming up from Libya to Italy, but not all of them make it there.
This time last year, 1,855 people died in the Mediterranean. This year, 2,510 people died in the Mediterranean. UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said this year has been “particularly deadly,” according to the Associated Press.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Syrian, Afghani and Iraqi refugees have not begun traveling to Libya to reach Europe through that route, but there are thousands of other migrants trying to make their ways.
A German aid group Sea-Watch has been stepping up to try and rescue migrants on the Mediterranean. The group found 25 drowning victims on the route from Libya to Italy on Friday. They were on a boat that sank.
One of those victims was a baby. Images from Sea-Watch show the drowned baby being held by rescuers.
Martin, a volunteer with Sea-Watch, told The Washington Post,
I wanted to scream, but I decided to sing instead, in order to calm myself and the baby which should never have died — and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heartbreaking moment.
Martin said the Sea-Watch crew was silent after finding the baby. But he hopes, like the images of Kurdi last year, the image of this child spurs action to prevent further deaths. He said,
I hope this photo helps to put a spotlight on the countless other people who have drowned silently and who wanted nothing apart from a better future.
Last week, three shipwrecks in a row led to hundreds of deaths in three days. A shipwreck last Wednesday killed 100 people, a capsizing on Thursday killed 550 and a sinking on Friday left 170 dead or missing.
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