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UN Reports Surge in Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

In a distressing update, the United Nations (UN) revealed on Friday that the number of migrants who have perished or gone missing while attempting to cross the perilous Mediterranean Sea this summer has tripled compared to the same period last year.

According to UNICEF, between June and August of this year, a staggering 990 individuals lost their lives or disappeared during the treacherous central Mediterranean route that links northern Africa with Europe. This grim statistic stands in stark contrast to the 334 recorded deaths during the corresponding months in 2022.

While the agency did not provide a specific figure for children who lost their lives during these perilous crossings, it did report a troubling surge in unaccompanied minors attempting the journey. From January to September, approximately 11,600 unaccompanied minors embarked on makeshift vessels in their quest to reach Italy, marking a 60 percent increase compared to the first nine months of the previous year.

UNICEF coordinator Regina De Dominicis expressed profound concern, stating, “The Mediterranean has become a cemetery for children and their future.” She further attributed this tragic loss of young lives to “political choices and a defective migration system.”

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees also weighed in on the dire situation, revealing that a total of 2,500 migrants have lost their lives or disappeared in the Mediterranean from January 1 to September 24, representing a 50 percent increase compared to the same period in the preceding year.

This distressing trend highlights the urgent need for comprehensive action to address the perilous conditions and challenges faced by migrants attempting these dangerous sea crossings.

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