15 April 2015. The never-ending tragedy in the Mediterranean has claimed now the lives of about 400 people, according to Save the Children who talked in Calabria to the survivors of a boat carrying 550 people. Many of the victims are believed to be unaccompanied children.
Only two months ago the death of another 300 people hit the deadlines. ECRE has repeatedly called for the EU to step up its efforts to save lives in the Mediterranean. “Our calls for EU Search and Rescue efforts in the Mediterranean have fallen on deaf ears. Apart from the outstanding efforts of the Italian navy, the EU continues to fail to act. A similar tragedy can be happening right now”, said ECRE’s Secretary General Michael Diedring.
People fleeing war and persecution undertake these life-threatening journeys because they do not have another way to reach a safe place. “We could put smugglers out of business immediately if the EU would create legal channels for refugees to reach Europe”, Diedring said.
More than 22,000 migrants and refugees died on their way to Europe since 2000, about 900 this year alone if the reports about 400 deaths this weekend are confirmed.
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The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) is a pan-European alliance of 87 NGOs protecting and advancing the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons.