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The Mediterranean, deadlier than ever

“One out of every 18 people who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea from the African coast dies, while before it was one in 50”, MSF says.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus 05 APRIL 2019 18:45 h GMT+1
One out of every 18 people who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea from the African coast dies. / David Aler, Unsplash CC

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says that “1 out of every 18 people who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea from the African coast, loses his life doing so”.



These figures have worsened, because as the deputy director of operations of the organization, Vincent Hoedt, pointed out, “before it was 1 in 50”.



According to Hoedt, the increase in mortality “is due to the fact that European vessels have stopped rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean sea, and they are now forced to find another ways to reach the shore”.



 



LIBYA NOT INCLUDED



He has clarified that statistics only refer to deaths in the Mediterranean, and do not include all refugees and sub-Saharan migrants who lose their lives in their attempt to reach Libya.



The African country is one of the main points of departure to Europe, and other organizations, such as Amnesty International, have denounced the creation of slave ghettos there, formed with people who have arrived in the country.



 



THE MOROCCO-SPAIN ROUTE



More than 64,000 people entered Europe in 2018 from Morocco and through Spain, according to the Ministry of the Interior.



After the bilateral agreement signed between Italy and Libya to limit the flow of migrants, the Moroccan coasts have become a priority for those who seek for an entry to the European continent.



In mid-July 2018, the Spanish Commission for Refugee (CEAR in Spanish) published a document with 8 key points to explain why Spain has become the main route for migrants coming to Europe by the sea.



The report pointed out that the total of arrivals had already decreased by more than half compared to 2017, from 102,800 to 54,500.



It also said that 40% of those arrivals were through the Morocco-Spain route, crossing Gibraltar .



Additionally, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, this February Morocco and Spain signed and agreement between to stop the arrival of migrants right after the European Union agreed to pay Morocco 140 million euros “to support border management”.



 



AROUND 300 DIED IN 2019



The MSF deputy director has warned that “European attempts to stem migration by strengthening national borders and bolstering detention facilities outside its borders are pushing people into smugglers hands to get them past checkpoints, across borders, through fences, out of prisons and ultimately onto boats on the Mediterranean Sea” .



“Instead of confronting the vicious cycle that their own policies are creating, politicians have hidden behind unfounded accusations towards NGOs and individuals who attempt to help people in dire straits”, he added.



According to International Organization of Migration (IOM), almost 300 people have died or went missing in the Mediterranean since the start of 2019.


 

 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.