Hundreds of migrant deaths at sea: What is Europe going to do? – CNN

(CNN)Hundreds of men, women and children dying at sea. International criminal groups profiting richly from the misery. And Western governments struggling to respond.

That’s the reality that was brought painfully into focus over the weekend with the latest sinking of a boat ferrying hundreds of migrants from North Africa toward the shores of southern Europe.

“Gangs of criminals are putting people on a boat, sometimes even at gunpoint,” Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said. “They’re putting them on the road to death, really, and nothing else.”

The numbers of people reported to be perishing as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean have climbed alarmingly just in the past week. European governments are under fire for not doing enough to tackle the human crisis.

The latest disaster: ‘Nothing less than a genocide’

As rescuers approached the boat in response to a distress call Saturday night, authorities say migrants on the boat moved to one side, hoping to be saved. Their movement caused the large, multilevel boat to capsize about 110 kilometers (almost 70 miles) north of Libya, sending many passengers plunging into the sea.


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