We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

Migrants and refugees risk their lives to flee their country

This photo has circulated around the world. Three Nigerians made an 11-day journey on the rudder of an oil tanker in an attempt to reach Spain.

The Migration Department of the Canary Islands Diocese helped them request international asylum. Henry's testimony specifically caught their attention.

Migrations of the Diocese of Canary Islands

He wanted to flee Nigeria and he did not care where the boat went, that is, he just hid and started to pray because he is Catholic. It was the second time he was risking his life crossing the Atlantic, in this hole on the rudder. Faced with suffering and pain, and seeing how his wife and son were in need, he made the decision and said: "I have to try to fix this and even if it puts my life at risk, I'm going to try again."

Henry succeeded in his first attempt and made it all the way to Norway. But after three months, he was sent back to Nigeria. It is a story that is very common among migrants and refugees. 

During the Pope's trip to Malta, he heard the testimony of Daniel, a young man who tried to migrate three times.

I got into a boat, 2x10 meters, surrounded by a hundred people. We sailed for 10 hours before an Itailan ship came and rescued us. I was excited. I was so full of joy. People were kneeling, they were thanking God. Only then we discovered that we were actually sailing back to Libya. They handed us back to the Libyan Coast Guard and we were put in prison.

Over the last 8 years in the Mediterranean Sea alone, an estimated 26,000 people have died or disappeared. This number does not even include those who have died in the Sahara desert or in Libya.