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The "lifeguards of Lesbos," who met the Pope, now go to the Libyan coast

2016-07-17

According to the International Organization for Migration, in the first six months of 2016 there have been nearly 2,900 refugee deaths at sea. It is 50 percent more than last year. The worst surge of the crisis occurred in late May, when more than 1,000 refugees drowned within one week.

This confirms that the treaty between the EU and Turkey has not slowed down the crisis, but instead has caused refugees to seek riskier routes.

ÓSCAR CAMPS
Proactive Open Arms
May 25, 2016
"Old and ancient traffic routes are now being used again, these are routes that were abandoned because of the dangerous conditions."

From Rome in May, Camps and his volunteers warned the world of the situation in Lesbos, after handing the Pope a life jacket of a 6-year-old girl they could not save.

The volunteers of this NGO have now moved to the central Mediterranean to face this crisis. They have been busy, because a few days after their arrival, they rescued 400 refugees who wanted to reach Europe in a wooden barge. The rescue received much applause.

ÓSCAR CAMPS
Proactive Open Arms
April 29, 2016
"It's astonishing to see how the European governments have failed to ensure safety at sea, it is a premeditated decision and is not by chance. When you think about what we could do ourselves, with our hands and our own resources ... What could the administration have done if they had proposed something? It is not a matter of ignorance, rather a matter of interest."

The situation here is more dramatic than in Lesbos. On its website, the NGO denounces that refugees leave Libya without enough fuel to reach the European coast, because they are forced to wait in international waters until someone rescues them. Oscar Camps sums up the situation well in this tweet: "The same coffin in Lesbos, but on a larger scale."


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