During the past week, Italian authorities have managed to save around 10.000 refugees from the waters of the Mediterranean during the past week.
Pleasant weather conditions and calm seas allowed smugglers to bring an unprecedented number of people across the water.
Some analysists believe this is the worst immigration crisis Europe has faced since World War II. And it’s all focusing on Italy. By August, around 93.000 people had already arrive in Europe.
The migrants were travelling on small rubber dinghies. In spite of the pleasant weather and relatively calm waters, the boats were unstable. They were carrying much beyond their capacity. Many of the people fell overboard. Unfortunately, not all of them could be saved. Tens of people have died during the rescue operations.
A UN refugee agency spokesperson claims that the death toll has risen during the past year. One in every 42 migrants dies. Last year, there was one death per 52 migrants saved. That adds up to about 2500 men, women and children who died during the journey.
The recent surge in the number of refugees has generated a lot of tension all throughout Europe. Many countries have experienced a rise in nationalist, right wing, and even neo-nazi groups. These groups are becoming increasingly vocal, and one of their main concerns is the large number of refugees that have to be dealt with.
On the other hand, the situation in the Middle East doesn’t seem like it’s going to improve any time soon. A recent chlorine attack in Aleppo has left the world shocked, but for the residents of Aleppo this is an incident they have to deal with. One person died, and 100 were injured during the attack, in which two barrel bombs loaded with the toxic substance.
The Situation of the Refugees Is Not Improving
Meanwhile, in Italy, refugees have volunteered to help rescue efforts, after a devastating earthquake shook the central part of the country. Yet, in spite of these humanitarian efforts, nay-sayers argue that the refugees should be removed from the places in which they are housed, and make room for the victims of the Earthquake.
Among those saved during the operations during this week were a pair of newborn twins. According to Unicef, almost half of all refugees are children. And half of those children come from just two countries, Syria and Afghanistan.
During the past five years, the number of child refugees has grown by about 75% due to large scale global conflicts. The total number of children that have left their country, or were forcibly displaced within their own country is now 50 million. Of those, 28 million had to flee because of military conflicts.
According to UN statistics, most of these refugee children are not currently in Europe in fact. The countries that host the most refugee children are the US, Saudia Arabia and Jordan. Italy ranks much lower in their statistics, and is preceded by countries such as Lebanon, Pakistan and Russia.
The situation of the current refugees is still unclear. European authorities are still unsure about how they’re going to handle the ongoing refugee crisis. These massive waves of immigrants however make reaching a decision all the more pressing.
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