Italy Migrant Crisis Grows, Hundreds Feared Dead

Hundreds of people are feared dead in boat accidents as thousands of refugees from Libya travel to Italy and contribute to a growing Italy migrant crisis. The refugees are from sub-Saharan Africa and some of the small boats they were travelling in have capsized due to being overcrowded. According to the International Organization for Migration, the survivors reported that people on the boats were shifting around and this caused the vessel to flip over and the people to fall out. The accident is only one of many such events, as a huge rush of tens of thousands of refugees coming from Libya is causing a migrant crisis in Italy.

Italy Migrant Crisis Filling Up Welcome Centers

The Italian Navy and Coast Guard have helped to save about 10,000 refugees just this week, while in 2014, the numbers of refugees from Libya to Italy crossing over via the Mediterranean Sea numbered a total of only 26,000. The Italian government has been overwhelmed helping the refugees to continue their travel to places in Italy and elsewhere to get needed help, and to do border control checks, take asylum applications, and put them in welcome centers that are already overflowing with people.

This year’s deaths due to boat capsizes is said to be much higher than in previous years, as only about 50 were killed last year as of March, while hundreds have already lost their lives in the current migrant crisis. Four hundred people are believed to have perished from the capsizing of just one boat, according to survivors.

Italy Migrant Crisis Grows Hundreds Feared Dead - Clapway

Deaths Attributed to End of Mare Nostrum

Some aid groups working to help the migrants who travel between Libya and Italy ever year say that one reason there are more deaths in 2015 is the end of Mare Nostrum, a search and rescue program the Italian Navy used previously to rescue drowning migrants that were in Italian waters. The program allowed the Italian water vessels to travel to the edge of Libyan territorial waters.

However, this practice, which began in 2013, was ended after being criticized for causing more people to make the crossing, thus contributing to the ever growing migrant crisis every year. Now, the ships only travel as far as 30 miles from the coast of Italy in a mission called Triton, which hasn’t been able to help as many troubled refugees trying to escape Libya with travel to Italy.

Italy Migrant Crisis Causes Political Opposition

The rising migrant crisis in Italy is said to be causing political opposition from right-wing groups like the Northern League, who want Italy to help their own people first before assisting migrants.