Will Italy Boat Sinking Change European Migration Policies? [Photo]
Officials on Italian territory don’t have enough room to store the bodies of African migrants who drowned when their boat sank in one of the worst European maritime disasters in years. According to the UN refugee agency, the death toll had reached 155 by Friday in a tragedy so moving Pope Francis has called for a “day of tears.” The 65-ft. boat left from the Libyan port of Misrata with about 500 men, women, and children – mainly from Eritrea and Somalia. Migrants striving for a better life typically each pay around $1,600 to be taken from the coasts of Libya and Tunisia to Lampedusa or Malta, the closest pieces of European territory to North Africa.
“There is something fundamentally wrong in a world where people in need of protection have to resort to these perilous journeys. This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said.