An estimated 400 North-African migrants are believed to have perished Monday in the Mediterranean en route to the small Italian island of Lampedusa. The deaths bring to 900 the number of refugees who have died this year attempting to reach Italy and Greece via Mediterranean waters.
The problem is not a new one. Last year, at least 3,500 refugees and migrants—many fleeing Africa, Syria and Iraq—died while crossing the Mediterranean.
"Rescue at sea of migrants must be a priority for Italy and for Europe, and the European Union should strengthen its capacity for search and rescue missions, as more people risk and lose their lives making these perilous journeys," said Save the Children's president and CEO Carolyn Miles.