The Mediterranean Sea has become a graveyard for migrants and refugees, especially those traveling from Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. These migrants risk their lives to go on dangerous voyages to Europe in search for a better life. Official reports show that thousands of migrants and asylum seekers lose their lives or disappear every day in the Mediterranean and the Northwest African routes. Indeed, the European Union (EU) has been blamed for contributing to increased migration along the Mediterranean because of its violent border control policies. These policies have not only pushed African migrants into passing dangerous routes, but have also resulted in huge death tolls and disappearances at sea. While the EU has taken a number of measures to address the migration situation in the Mediterranean, these measures have done little to prevent African migrants from dying or disappearing in Europe’s borders. European destination countries like Greece and Italy have also adopted repressive immigration policies to reduce irregular arrivals on their borders. It is time for the EU to finally take a clear stand on the vast graveyard that Europe’s borders have come to be. Efforts need to be made to improve search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean, and to provide safer and legal alternatives for African migrants and asylum seekers. This will go a long way in reducing the number of migrants drowning while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Writer : Morenike Oyeleke Editors: Chimee Adioha, Amaka Obioji, Jazmine Cuevas Design: Emmanuel Ogunleye