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Nearly 270 migrants rescued by the "Ocean Viking" in the Mediterranean – Globe Echo

L’Ocean-Vikinga humanitarian ship of SOS Méditerranée, has rescued 268 people since Thursday August 25 during five rescues of migrants mostly found in overcrowded wooden boats between Libya and Malta, the NGO announced on Friday.

“Many have high levels of exhaustion and dehydration” and “serious sunburn”, detailed the NGO, headquartered in Marseille. Several minors, including unaccompanied minors, pregnant women and even a three-week-old baby are now cared for by SOS Méditerranée and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent on theOcean-Viking.

On Tuesday, the ambulance ship explained that it had spotted four empty boats in this area, including one without a motor. But “without communication from the maritime authorities, the fate of those on board remains unknown”she had specified.

Since the beginning of the year, 1,161 migrants have disappeared in the Mediterranean, including 918 in the central Mediterranean, the most dangerous migratory route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The UN agency estimated the number of dead and missing in 2021 at 2,048 in the Mediterranean, including 1,553 for the central Mediterranean alone.

Read also: Italy assigns a port of reception to the “Ocean-Viking” to disembark 294 migrants

States ignore distress calls

In a joint statement made on August 3, 2022, several NGOs operating rescue boats in the Mediterranean called for “Member States and Associated States of the European Union to establish an adequate, State-led, dedicated and proactive search and rescue fleet in the Central Mediterranean, as well as a rapid and adequate response to all calls of distress, and a predictable disembarkation mechanism for survivors”.

The EU has ended its controversial operation to combat human trafficking in the Mediterranean in 2020, replacing it with Operation Irini, which focuses on maintaining the UN arms embargo on of Libya. The rescue of migrants has since been left to the discretion of states, but NGOs complain that countries are ignoring distress calls or even working with Libyan authorities to return migrants there.

Every year, thousands of people fleeing conflict or poverty try to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, whose coasts are some 300 kilometers from Italy.

 

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EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.