European migrant crisis continues to worsen

Forty more migrants die in Mediterranean during attempt to reach Italy, with International Organization for Migration putting latest death toll at 2,300

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Forty migrants have died from suffocation after their boat took on water in its hold in the Mediterranean sea. The remaining 400 migrants onboard the boat were saved during an Italian navy rescue operation on Saturday.

Commander Massimo Tozzi, speaking from the ship, said that when his men boarded the migrant boat they found the dead in the hold "immersed in water, fuel and human excrement."

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that 134,988 migrants arrived in Greece and 93,540 others reached the coast of Italy by the end of July, while 2,300 died in attempts to cross the Mediterranean.

The EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos defined the migrant crisis as "the world’s the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War."


Russia has helped Serbia deal with migrants in the country through the intergovernmental aid agency Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center.

Through the center the Russian government sent camping tents, stoves, beds and blankets for the 1,000 migrants in the two Serbian refugee camps.

The Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center was founded as part of a bilateral intergovernmental agreement between the two states in order to help deal with the humanitarian crisis in the Balkans.

Around 7,000 migrants from the Middle East and North Africa have came to Serbia since the beginning of January in attempts to reach an EU country in order to live in better conditions.

Speaking about the 2,000 migrants crossing Serbian borders every day, the Serbian Minister of Labor said that the country's government will not build any center for migrants regardless of how many people it could possibly accommodate.


The human rights monitor Amnesty International has released a report on the migrant center in the Austrian town of Traiskirchen, criticising the inhuman living conditions at the center.

Amnesty Austria General Secretary Heinz Patzelt said that there are 1,700 migrant children living in the camp without any health care, separated from their parents. Showers for men and women are not separated, so everyone has to shower in the same place.

Patzelt also said that although Traiskirchen camp was built for 1,800 people, there are more than 4,500 migrants present in the camp without proper access to social and health care.

Amnesty slammed the Austrian government for not finding a solution to the migrant crisis within the country's borders, even though it has the financial and social means to do so.

Austria received more than 28,300 asylum requests from January to June. Most of the migrants in Austria entered the country by passing through Hungary.

The European Commission decided to give approximately 2.4 billion euros in aid to Austria to help it cope with migrants within its borders.


An asylum seeker from Ethiopia was detected and rescued from a plane’s cargo section in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm after an eight-hour-long flight.

An airport employee in Ethiopian capital city Addis Ababa, the migrant smuggled himself onto the plane before baggage handlers found him.

Sweden granted permission to 35,000 out of 81,000 asylum seekers to stay in the country in 2014.


The Spanish government has announced that security officers found three African migrants in a hidden compartment of a truck while they were attempting to smuggle themselves into Spain.

In critical condition, the three young North African men were removed from the hidden compartment of the truck and given emergency treatment.


Recently another migrant went undetected and could not be rescued in time by border police when he passed into Spain in a suitcase.

African migrants often seek to enter mainland Spain through the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla bordering Morocco. Many of the migrants are caught by police while trying the climb over the fence into the enclaves, while some drown trying to enter them through the sea.

The Spanish government has called on the European Union to help reduce the number of migrants attempting to gain entry to Melilla and Ceuta.

In total around 14,000 migrants have tried to cross into the enclaves, with 2,000 of them making it into Melilla.

To date, approximately 6,500 migrants have died trying to cross the enclaves' borders.

TRTWorld and agencies