Sea of Danger
"Over the past two years EU member states have put in place a series of measures to block migration across the central Mediterranean, boosting the capacity of the Libyan Coast Guard to intercept sea crossings, striking deals with militias in Libya and hampering the work of NGOs carrying out search and rescue operations."
(Amnesty International, 2018)
In October, one of the last private rescue ships operating in the central Mediterranean, the Aquarius, had its registration revoked (Hayden, 2018), a decision that condemned hundreds of men, women, and children to death (Doctors Without Borders, 2018). As more and more refugees are left trapped in Libya and other North African states with no other option out, exploitative traffickers and smugglers are organising increasingly dangerous crossings. The Mediterranean crossing is now one of the deadliest sea routes in the world - more than 1,500 refugees and migrants have lost their lives attempting to reach European shores after crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the first six months of 2018 alone (UNHCR, 2018).
How can we stand by as people perish at sea?