Report: 60 Migrant Fatalities as Dinghy Sinks in Mediterranean

    Report: 60 Migrant Fatalities as Dinghy Sinks in Mediterranean
    Image copyright: Tullio M. Puglia/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images (May 13, 2014)

    The Facts

    • At least 60 people have died, reportedly of dehydration and hunger, while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in a rubber dinghy that broke down after departing from Libya on March 8.

    • According to the international humanitarian organization SOS Mediterranee, the dinghy's motor failed three days into the voyage from Zawiya. Its rescue ship carried the 25 survivors to Ancona, Italy.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    With a toll of at least 8.5K, an increase of 20% from the previous year, 2023 was the deadliest ever on the world's migration routes. While a little more than 50% of tragic fatalities were caused by drownings, nearly 10% lost their lives in vehicle accidents, and another 7% by sheer violence. Attempting to cross the Mediterranean alone cost the lives of at least 3K — either dead or missing. The global community must unite to stem these tragedies and restore survivors' dignity.

    Right narrative

    There is a horrific migration crisis worldwide and at Europe's doorstep in the Mediterranean. It's vital to work upstream of the problem — to dismantle migrant smuggling networks and even consider repatriation agreements with nations such as Libya. Collaborating with countries like Turkey to bolster maritime law enforcement and surveillance operations can also greatly help to reduce Mediterranean tragedies in the future.

    Left narrative

    Europe's rising far-right has long instrumentalized migration as a political tool. Their rhetoric overwhelms even the heart-breaking tragedies of the dead and survivors of perilous journeys. Xenophobia has even managed to shape policy as asylum seekers are subjected to detention, deportation, and even violence. Such short-sightedness only erodes the basic international norms that Europe has historically been a proponent of. What is needed, instead, are more sophisticated and human-centered migration policies in the Mediterranean and beyond.

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