Thursday, 3 October 2013

Migrants drowned and water

Migrants who made it to Lampedusa's shores

Only 100 migrants out of a group of 300 survived a dangerous sea crossing from Northern Africa to the island of Lampedusa. Overcrowded boat with African migrants from North, West and East Africa have been arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa in hopes of reaching mainland Europe. For years, hundreds if not thousands of migrants have drowned attempting to reach the island before being captured by Italian Coast guards. Most migrants, though innocent have relied on human smugglers to pay their way to illegally enter the borders of Italy via overcrowded boats that often capsize off the coast of Lampedusa or face death through drowning without rescue from Italian coast guard authorities. Lampedusa and other Italian societies seem to regard the migrants' lives as doomed and worthless than others. Since Libyan Conflict 2011,thousands of migrants have fled Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea (even though the Eritrean government and country has been stable for most of its history) and elsewhere to travel for weeks overland to Tunisia than on the Mediterranean Sea often facing rough waters and dehydration to reach Europe. Europe that has gradually transformed itself into a fortress with a far reaching security apparatus that shows no sympathy for migrants or illegal travelers crossing the seas. Even asylum seekers face difficulty from restrictive immigration policies and border patrols who regard illegal and legal migrants as invaders rather than people with legitimate requests and needs for safety and stability that they can not find in their own countries. Pope Francis visited Lampedusa two months ago to pay his respects to the thousands of migrants who lay at the bottom of the sea and the thousands more in detention centers across Lampedusa. The survivors will most likely be sent to detention centers where many migrants are often caroled and kept separate from the local population for weeks on end. Migrants who are able to leave the detention centers are sent to Sicily than either deported or if fortunate are able to find contacts in France, Italy or another Europe country. Libya, Morocco and Egypt had signed deals and cooperated with European nations to halt illegal migration by sea from across African countries and Middle East. However since the North African revolutions and instability in Libya, migrants have found a loophole in previous migration agreements between Europe and North Africa. Both Gaddhafi's death two years ago, Libyan border authorities had gone to great lengths to capture and deport illegal migrants back to their countries of origins while being applauded by European countries for doing so.

The Italian Coast Guard is currently aiding medical personnel to rescue surviving migrants from sunk boats while recovering the bodies of drowned migrants from the current and previous capsize boats. The recovery/rescue operations have been going on for over a week and will continue for days to come. Even as migrants are being recovered from the waters, new migrants continue to face death on overcrowd ships. The UN and other international groups have insisted that Italian authorities and European countries practice what they preach on safeguarding the lives of migrants through easing restrictive/migration policies that has led the lost of life of hundreds of people.

What happens to child migrants arriving in Europe?

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