Italy has cut its migrant search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean
A charity has been using drones to spot migrants in trouble and alert help
But even the Migrant Offshore Aid Station must fundraise to continue work
Just over a year ago, in October 2013, two boats carrying refugees and migrants from North Africa to Europe capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa, killing over 500 passengers.
The tragedy prompted the Italian navy to launch a search and rescue operation called Mare Nostrum (Our Sea), which has helped rescue more than 150,000 migrants attempting the dangerous Mediterranean crossing in the past year. But the initiative was closed in early November after the European Union failed to respond to Italy’s call for more funds — a decision that sparked Europe-wide debates and was severely criticised by human rights organisations.  The operation replacing it, codenamed Triton, has just a third of Mare Nostrum’s budget and focuses on ‘border management’ up to 30 miles off Italy’s coast rather than refugee rescue across the Mediterranean.But while Italy has scaled back its operations, a new […]