The United Nations (UN) said on Friday that 289 children died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in the first half of 2023. This is more than double the number of deaths recorded in the six months to 2022.
According to estimates, more than 11,000 children have crossed the sea in the past six months, more than double the number during the same period in 2022. In the first three months, around 3,300 children were registered as unaccompanied or separated children.
UNICEF, the UN child protection agency, has recommended that safe, legal and accessible roads should be expanded. According to the organization’s head, Verena Knaus, the extent of the damage to the refugees could be much higher because in the central Mediterranean, no shipwrecks survive, nor are they exposed to the public. “These deaths are completely preventable,” he believes, adding that “these children die before our eyes and we only turn a blind eye.” (France24)