The Mediterranean Migrant Crisis: Risking Everything for a Chance at a Better Life

People from impoverished and war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia continue to flee their homes in huge numbers, making perilous journeys to Europe in search of security, opportunity, and a new home. The United Nations estimates that 60,000 migrants have already made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea this year, landing in Southern Europe, while another 1,800 attempted the crossing but did not survive. After making deals with traffickers and traveling overland to Turkey or the near-anarchy of Libya, suffering at the hands of smugglers, and dodging war zones and government checkpoints, these people are crammed onto tiny or antiquated vessels and launched into the Mediterranean. Often, distress calls are sounded soon after they depart, and they then must rely on European rescue vessels to pick them up, gambling that they will be reached before their boats capsize. The European Commission is now proposing EU member nations take in the rising wave of migrants based on a quota scheme, while the European Union has proposed conducting search-and-destroy operations against empty Libyan smuggling boats.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Daniel Ochoa de Olza / AP

    Hurling Turnips at the Jarramplas

    Every January, the streets of Piornal, Spain, fill with residents armed with turnips, seeking to punish the devil-like Jarramplas.

  • © Hannah Le Leu / Ocean Art

    Winners of the 2021 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest

    Some of the top images from the 13 categories of underwater photography in this year’s competition

  • Ozkan Bilgin / Anadolu Agency / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Ice Disk, Snowy Owl, Giant Ichthyosaur

    Ducklings at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, a fish-operated vehicle in Israel, a whale off the California coast, the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, and much more

  • Washington Alves / Reuters

    Heavy Rainfall Causes Severe Flooding in Brazil

    Weeks of heavy rain have inundated communities in several Brazilian states.