The UNICEF has released latest information on refugees and refugee children crossing the Mediterranean in hope for a better life and things aren’t looking good.
Latest estimates by the organization showed that around 200 children have lost their lives while going from North Africa to Italy via the Central Mediterranean. This means that each day, more than one child drowns in commute and becomes another lifeless body in the sea.
Data for the year shows that between January 1 and May 23, more than 45,000 refugees and migrants reached Italy after crossing the dangerous sea route. These numbers have risen approximately by 44 percent since last year. Furthermore, around 5,500 unaccompanied and separated children have also been seen trying to reach the coasts of Italy, the figures observing a 22 percent rise from 2016.
“More children are braving the Central Mediterranean route to reach Italy, which means that more children are literally dying to get there. A record high 26,000 unaccompanied and separated children arrived to Italy last year, but if current trends hold, that record will be smashed in 2017. That is not a record to be proud of, but a reminder of our collective failure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of refugee and migrant children,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth.
These damning numbers come just as G7 leaders are currently meeting in Taormina, Italy to discuss refugees, trade and climate. To shed more light on the crisis, UNICEF has launched a campaign called “#AChildIsAChild” which features a billboard in the Taormina that reads: “G7 Leaders, protect migrant and refugee children.”
Check out the video above to learn more about the crisis.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters