Over the course of 2023, more than 2,500 people have lost their lives or disappeared in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). These alarming figures reveal a significant increase compared to the same period last year, evidencing the severity of the migration crisis in Europe.
Tunisia and Libya have emerged as the main departure points for migrants, with around 102,000 and 45,000 people embarking from these countries, respectively. Despite the deadly risks, dangerous sea crossings remain the only option for many fleeing desperate situations in their home countries.
Meanwhile, the European Union is trying to find solutions, although the process is hampered by the lack of consensus among member states. On September 28, an agreement on refugees in the European Union was postponed due to the request of Italy, which seeks to tighten its migration policy and protect its already overloaded accommodation systems.
Despite efforts by some countries, such as Germany, to implement a “crisis mechanism” that equitably distributes migrant arrivals among EU countries, Italy has asked for more time to evaluate the proposal. As European leaders debate, thousands of lives remain at risk in the Mediterranean, underscoring the urgency of finding humanitarian and effective solutions to this growing migration crisis.