The number is double compared to last year
At least 289 children died in the first six months of 2023 trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, a figure that is rising sharply, the UN said today.
This tally is double that of the first half of 2022, UNICEF said, calling for safe humanitarian corridors to allow children to find refuge in Europe.
“The number of children who died trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe doubled in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year,” said Verena Knaus, UNICEF’s migration and displacement officer.
“We estimate that in the first six months of this year, 11,600 children crossed the Mediterranean, also double the number compared to the same period in 2022,” he said.
In the first three months of 2023, 3,300 children making this journey – 71% of the total – were unaccompanied or separated from their families, according to UNICEF.
This percentage is three times higher compared to the same period of the previous year.
“These kids need to know they’re not alone. World leaders must act urgently,” Knauss stressed.
MEPs yesterday called for the development of a “credible and permanent search and rescue strategy” for migrants in the Mediterranean, following the mid-June shipwreck off the Greek coast that may have left more than 600 dead.
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