Rome (HAN) May 23, 2015, Regional Humanitarian Security and safety news. Kanter, James. The migration crisis that has led to thousands of deaths at sea has prompted European foreign and defense ministers to use naval forces to intercept and disrupt ships smuggling migrants. The program’s goal is to stop smugglers with human cargo before or shortly after they leave shore.
The immigrants would be returned to African ports and the ships used to transport them would be destroyed. All of the debate has been spurred by the spike in refugee deaths—more than 1,800 between January and April, which represents a 17-fold increase. Death rates climb for many reasons, including smugglers who offer passage in watercraft that is not fit for the journey.
The militarized response being put forth by the European Union is facing pushback in some countries, but it is being well-received by NATO and other organizations. Military force is a delicate subject when it concerns multiple countries, so more work and further approvals remain necessary to ensure all parties are on the same page. More than 20,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean in the past two decades.