Migration stories for the British Red Cross on The Guardian

Maria and Joel.

Maria and Joel.


More than 3,000 migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2016, part of a wider catastrophe that has seen migrant deaths reach their highest ever recorded level this year. While the shipwrecks and drownings have made headlines globally, the violence and exploitation that occur on the long journey towards the coast often go unrecorded.
For their report Humanity at a Crossroads the Red Cross interviewed refugees and migrants in Italy, Egypt, Nigeria and Sudan about the routes they have taken towards Europe. The men and women described violence at every stage of the journey. Beatings, abuse, sexual violence and forced labour are common and many people have seen others die from hunger and thirst in their attempt to cross the Sahara desert. Nearly all of those interviewed had been detained at some point in their journey.
Conditions in Libya, where people wait in the hope of finding a way to cross to Italy, are particularly bad, with vulnerable and desperate migrants making easy prey for kidnappers and militias.
The movement of people across northern Africa is a mix of those fleeing conflict in countries like Eritrea and Somalia, and others trying to escape extreme poverty.
World leaders meet at the UN headquarters in New York today to try to find solutions for the refugee crisis, though negotiations before the summit failed to produce any concrete measures. On Tuesday Barack Obama hosts a summit on refugees with the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and leaders of some of the countries deemed to have done most for refugees or carrying more than their share of the burden: Jordan, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Ethiopia.
The Red Cross is calling for humanitarian assistance and protection for people travelling all along the migratory route to Italy, including the continuation of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
To see the full story click here: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/sep/19/raped-imprisoned-beaten-migrants-reveal-perilous-journeys-europe-united-nations-general-assembly