By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV International
Last year, almost 800 migrants drowned off the Libyan coast when a fishing boat they were travelling in collided with a mercantile vessel that had set out to rescue them.
Exactly a year later, around 214 migrants were rescued from boats in the Mediterranean.
The survivors were transported to a port in Sicily’s Pozzallo.
The migrants, including 64 children, were taken to land onboard a French rescue vessel.
Save the Children representatives present called on European leaders to “reassert their moral and legal obligations” and to focus on protecting lives rather than borders.
“We agree that European leaders have put in place security measures that aren’t necessarily for the benefit of people coming over that are fleeing persecution, war and poverty. The numbers will not stop coming because they have no choice but to try and reach Europe. What they are leaving behind is not a life that is worth living, many children have told me. So, yes, the safe passage has to be implemented and search and rescue measures need to be continued.
“They are asking for the government to continue the search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, and to guarantee a safe passage for refugees and migrants,” she said.
“Today that there’s been another shipwreck at sea so what we need is to continue the search and rescue operation, to put in place safe passage for the thousands of people who will be coming over this year because no one should die needlessly in the sea because European leaders are protecting their borders rather than putting human interest first.”
Meanwhile, in the latest migrant boat incident, six bodies were recovered and 108 migrants were rescued from a semi-submerged rubber dinghy, on Sunday this week a coast guard reported.
He reported that humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee run ship, Aquarius, found the bodies.
The survivors along with the six corpses were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa, on Monday Afternoon.
Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, in a statement stressed the need for Europe to seriously reflect in the face of “yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean”.
“We really need to reflect, especially today, facing yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean in which, it’seems, several hundred people have died, on the day we are marking the first anniversary of the shipwreck in which 800 people lost their lives.”