Refugee agencies have said the beaches of Libya have become dominated by people traffickers who are making huge sums out of dispatching tens of thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean because the EU has closed off other less perilous routes.
Medecins du Monde blames the EU for the closure of the EU’s borders, which it says has forced more migrants to be taken advantage of by the people traffickers — especially in lawless Libya. The situations has worsened because the West Balkan route has been largely closed off and Turkey is being encouraged by the EU to close its border.
As of May 30, more than 70,000 migrants arrived in Greece and Italy via the Mediterranean, with 1,729 believed dead or missing. A total of 362, 753 crossed the Mediterranean in 2016, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. Close to 9,500 migrants and refugees rescued over the past week and disembarked in various Italian ports.
“We need to think about new policies, it is not true that there is no alternative. We have to stop these deaths at sea. Many NGOs provide humanitarian surveillance of the sea and others were created specifically for that purpose, because states do not respect their legal obligations. We cannot remain unmoved by these deaths,” Carlos Artundo, a spokesman for Medecins du Monde, told the news agency EFE.