The death toll of drowning when crossing the Mediterranean rising up

20/06/2016
          A rescuer from the humanitarian organisation Sea-Watch holds a drowned migrant baby
 Since 2014, at least 10.085 immigrants have died in the journey crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.

June 7, the spokesman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) Adrian Edwards said the death toll of immigrants in the Mediterranean has risen sharply in 2016. According to statistics of the UNHCR, from beginning of this year, there has been 2.814 people who have died in the sea, in comparison with the death toll 3.771 people in 2015 and 3.500 people in 2014.
Mr. Adrian Edwards stressed that the death toll in the Mediterranean for nearly two and a half year has shown dangerous situation of the crisis of immigrants to Europe.
He also reaffirmed the call of UNHCR to stimulate international community to quickly find out specify and effective measures to solve this problem.
While the International Organization for Migration announced that the death toll since the beginning is higher, there has been about 3000 people in comparison with the number of 1.838 who lost their lives in the Mediterranean in the first 6 months of last year. Totally, 206.400 refugees and immigrants have come to the “promise land” of Europe form beginning of this year, mainly arrived to frontline countries like Greece and Italy.
The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has announced that member countries are not allowed to detain immigrants illegally because of crossing the border in the Schengen visa-free area.
ECJ stressed that the EU regulation prohibits detaining immigrants who come from countries outside of EU in case of illegal crossing border if they haven’t been informed as deported ones.
ECJ’s announcement has given “a new attack” to EU’s effort to settle the immigration crisis that is getting severer in the “old continent”.
In a related event, Sea-Watch, a German humanitarian organization, operating a rescue boat in waters between Libya and Italy, has recently published a photograph in which a rescue worker are holding a baby while the baby seems to be in a deep sleep.
According to Metro newspaper, the baby was nearly 1 year old, found on the sea on Friday after the wooden boat which carried  the baby sank.
The rescue worker, Martin, said that he found the baby in the position “as a doll with two hands stretched.”
“I raised two hands of the baby and immediately hold the baby in my arms as it was breathing… Two hands of the baby stretched with little fingers forward; the sunlight made the baby’s  eyes bright, friendly”
Being the father of three children and a music therapist, Martin shared: “I started singing to comfort myself and to show something sympathy in the emotional moment that I couldn’t speak. Six hours later, the baby was still alive.”
By the announcement of the shocking picture, Sea-Watch wanted to persuade European leaders to give measure to ensure the safety for immigrants after hundreds of those had died in the Mediterranean sea.
In recent week, an Italian navy ship had collected and transported 45 dead bodies to Reggio Calabria in the South of Italy. The ship had also rescued 135 immigrants who were drowning on the sea.
The photograph had continued to depict a tragic fate of more than 8000 people who had died on the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2014.
Information about the baby is till very limited. According to Sea-Watch, the baby was immediately transfer to Italian Navy.
The rescue workers are not sure about the baby’s gender and parents of the baby are alive or not.
According to Sea-Watch rescue fleet, they have collected about 25 other dead bodies, including a baby.
There was a general consensus between rescue teams about the announcement of the photograph
“In the content of continuous catastrophes, we have realized clearly that the calls of European leaders to restrict deaths on sea are just useless” Sea-Watch noted in the announcement of the photograph.
“If we don’t want to see pictures like that, we have to stop creating those” Sea-Watch stated. It also called Europe to provide immigrants a safe and legal road, eliminating activities of human traffickers and preventing incidents from occurring.
According to the information of the High Commissioner for Refugees United Nations, there has been at least 700 immigrants who died on sea in past week, this was the highest peak of the flow of immigrants to Italy in this year.
The boat left Libya’s coast to Sabratha in Thursday’s evening.
According to survivors who were saved by Save the Children organization on Sunday, the boat sank and turned upside down when it were carrying hundreds of immigrants./.


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