The United Nations has revealed a distressing surge in the number of migrants who have lost their lives or gone missing while attempting to cross the Mediterranean this summer. According to UNICEF, between June and August, at least 990 individuals tragically perished or disappeared on the perilous central Mediterranean route, which connects northern Africa to Europe. This figure is three times higher than the 334 deaths recorded during the same months in 2022.
While UNICEF did not provide a specific count for children among the casualties during these crossings, the agency did report that 11,600 unaccompanied minors were among those attempting the journey to Italy on makeshift vessels between January and September. This marks a 60 percent increase compared to the first nine months of the previous year.
Regina De Dominicis, the coordinator for UNICEF, lamented, “The Mediterranean has become a cemetery for children and their future.” She attributed the tragic toll of children seeking asylum and security in Europe to political decisions and a flawed migration system.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, a total of 2,500 migrants have lost their lives or gone missing in the Mediterranean between January 1 and September 24, representing a 50 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.