The Mediterranean Sea where the hope of happiness turns into death

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Tunisian authorities rescued 105 irregular migrants on August 22, 2021 after migrants carrying boats sank on the country’s Mediterranean coast.

This is one of the many cases that occur frequently in this region, triggering a significant number of cases of death over the years.

For years, people from developing countries or LDCs used the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) to reach Europe mainly to Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta in the hope of a better life and livelihood. Italy is the first choice of these illegal migrants.

To cross the dangerous Mediterranean Sea, migrants use fragile boats, which are loaded with more than the capacity that hastens the possibility of sinking.

And it happens. When ships capsize, hope for a better life collapses, causing deaths and injuries. In addition, suffering from the survival of beings with the scarcity of food, the severity of adverse weather conditions, the issue of illegal arrival, etc.

From 2014 to 2021 (until December), a total of 22,90,108 people from Asia and Africa arrived in Europe and 2,139 migrants died.

The exact number for both cases is considered to be much higher than the estimate. Although there are more men, women and children are also important.

The Mediterranean is considered the deadliest place for migrants as its share equates to over 50% of migrant death cases in 2019. Although it is down from 63.70% in 2016 to 51.70 % in 2019, it is still a significant number.

We can reiterate the words of the IOM Head of Mission in Libya and reaffirm that “the increasing loss of life in the Mediterranean is a manifestation of the inability of states to take decisive action to redeploy search and rescue capabilities. dedicated and essential in the deadliest sea crossing in the world for the well-being of migrants and of the world as well.

The most common nationalities for arrivals by sea and land from January 2021 are Tunisia (24.70%), Bangladesh (11.10%), Egypt (10.80%), Syria (6 , 20%), Iran (5.80%), Côte d’Ivoire (5.60%), Iraq (4.30%), Guinea (3.40%), Eritrea (3.30) and others (3.20%).

The question is why people take this dangerous route at the risk of their lives and what are the possible suggestions to stop or minimize losses and deaths in the Mediterranean.

The push-pull factors of a better life in Europe and opposite in their own countries mainly serve this huge migration.

Political instability, unemployment problem, corruption and illegal aspects of travel agencies, social insecurity in the countries of origin; The demand for human resources in developed countries, social stability and the attractiveness of European countries are the main challenges of this illegal exodus.

Beyond these issues, forgetting the Mediterranean crisis and the greed of migrants are also the causes of this migration.

More importantly, it is believed that men, women and children traveling irregularly are either forced to leave their homes due to armed conflict or persecution or by the social insecurity of their country.

The illegal migration which reached 84 million until mid-2021 poses critical and multiple problems, notably statelessness of 4.3 million and the rate for both cases is increasing.

Migrants who survive not only encounter serious difficulties on their way to Europe, but also problems after their arrival.

Since they are transferred illegally, they are held in overcrowded centers; face numerous arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, extortion and abuse.

Host countries face integration issues as this group comes from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is estimated that around 25 million people born in a third country live in the EU, which represents 5% of its total population. It requires special interventions and strategies to integrate them in order to build a cohesive society.

He believes that the uneven development of the world and global inequalities have a negative impact and make it necessary to seek illegal means of migrating to the country where it is good to live.

If developing countries and LDCs do not receive much help to become a developed or developing nation with an improved standard of living, the problem will not be solved anyway.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that the number of cases of death is increasing. This is a concern for both the sending and receiving countries. Moreover, it is not a bilateral issue but rather a multilateral and global concern.

In addition to the sharing of responsibilities by the EU, for a lasting solution to this crisis, a comprehensive action plan must be designed with the EU, the Maghreb countries and the countries of origin in order to stop, rescue and to repatriate to save precious lives.

In addition, continued restrictions on the work of NGOs carrying out critical rescue operations exacerbated the crisis.

Thus, lifting the restrictions on NGOs and recognizing their intervention as a humanitarian imperative is an imperative to save lives until the countries concerned reach a workable solution.

We can reiterate the words of the IOM Head of Mission in Libya and reaffirm that “the increasing loss of life in the Mediterranean is a manifestation of the inability of states to take decisive action to redeploy search and rescue capabilities. dedicated and essential in the deadliest sea crossing in the world for the well-being of migrants and of the world as well.

Human Rights Watch proposes that the EU ensure robust search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

The EU should establish a legal migration route to the EU by including access to humanitarian visas, family reunification, increasing resettlement quotas and creating a more equitable sharing of responsibilities for asylum seekers.

In addition to the sharing of responsibilities by the EU, for a lasting solution to this crisis, a comprehensive action plan must be designed with the EU, the Maghreb countries and the countries of origin in order to stop, rescue and to repatriate to save precious lives.

It is also notable that the resolution of the humanitarian crisis that has arisen due to illegal migration in the Mediterranean Sea requires a collective responsibility to act as its involvement goes beyond borders.

(The writer is a faculty member of the Bangladesh Public Administration Training Center)

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