The Stream

Migrant crisis: Why are deadly sea journeys on the rise again?

On Tuesday, August 16 at 19:30 GMT:
Hundreds of migrants have been reported dead or missing crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, and many more are expected to make the dangerous journey during favourable summer weather conditions.

In the past eight years, an estimated 2.3 million people have journeyed across the Mediterranean Sea seeking better lives in Europe. The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean dropped following a peak in 2015, but since 2021, migration flows are once again climbing upwards. Such trips are also becoming increasingly fatal. So far this year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated nearly 1,000 people dead or missing at sea.

EU state-led search and rescue fleets have been criticised by NGOs and humanitarian organisations for not doing enough for migrants in distress, and particularly those traveling the most dangerous route in the central Mediterranean Sea to Italy. Despite nation states’ legal obligation to provide search and rescue responses, NGOs say European coast guards frequently delay their responses, leaving charity-operated rescue ships indefinitely stuck at sea and unable to disembark survivors needing medical attention.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the continued crisis in the Mediterranean and what’s being done to prevent further tragedies at sea.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Molly Blackall, @mollyblackall
Journalist, The i Paper

Nicholas Papachrysostomou, @MSF_Sea
Head of Greece mission, Medecins Sans Frontieres

Alessandro Porro, @SOSMedIntl
Rescue leader, SOS Mediterranee