More than 1,000 people have drowned in crossing over Mediterranean this year. Is fugitive in Africa aware of danger? What ideas do people take to escape? An interview with Florence Kim, spokesperson for International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Senegal.
Online Time: Mrs Kim, Italy has closed its ports for private rescue ships, before which NGO-ships drove for days on Mediterranean, because y could not create anywhere. What do se developments mean for migrants?
Florence Kim: Of course you'll get it. Even tugs. They have radar, y check wear report, y know when to patrol boats. The migrants know that too. But it's not a deciding factor for you.
Online Time: Opponents of private rescue services argue that helpers inadvertently made mselves accomplices of smugglers and thus promoted business model. But re are also or studies of distress rescue services, which say re is no increase in crossings by more help. What are your experiences?
Kim: When Italy started mare-Nostrum programme after great boating accident before Lampedusa 2013, this did not lead to an increase in crossings. So more programs do not per se lead to more migration. What had an impact, however, is patrols of Libyan coast Guard. Since y have been strengned, fewer people have made ir way across Mediterranean. The number of incoming refugees who fled from Libya to Italy fell by 75 percent. But we must also say that many migrants who are stranded in Libya do not have money to return to ir homeland. There is often no or choice. They're still trying to make crossing.
Online Time: More than 1,000 refugees have drowned in trial this year. Is people aware of risk of escaping?
Kim: Most yes. They've all seen CNN video about slave markets in Libya, many of whom have lost ir families during crossing. But you're still saying that you're going to make it yourself. That y are stronger than ors. That y are protected. They simply stand under enormous pressure. Financially, but also socially: y are selected; Those who are supposed to go to Europe to save families in ir homeland. And n you can see that people are always creating and trying. Over 59,000 migrants have arrived in Europe this year, 1,413 have died or are considered missing. That's one of 41 who tried it. So chance is re.
Online Time: Some migrants, it is said, have misconceptions about dangers of crossing, y considered Mediterranean to be easily crossed.
Kim: There are people who have never seen sea. They think Mediterranean is a river. They also assume that y would be allowed with a boat, because y do not know a dinghy – in which y actually rise. There is, but it is exception. Most know about risk. Most of refugees come from sub-Saharan region. You have to cross desert before you even get to coast. Just as many people die during crossing of desert as y did during passage. if not more; We don't know exact numbers.
Online Time: Why is risk still misjudged?Florence Kim
Kim: This is of course also due to smuggling networks. People break up, n y meet smugglers, sometimes compatriots, and y in turn get in touch with or people who are pretending to help m. In end, y believe you. One must also say that region is socially very heterogeneous. There are people who can read and write, ors are illiterate, were never in a school. They are sometimes gullible.
Online Time: How much does an escape cost?
Kim: This varies extremely, depending on country of origin of migrant, route and quality of boat. On average, refugees must pay between 1,000 and 6,000 euros. The problem is: smugglers often work with human traffickers. If a fugitive cannot pay, he will be referred to . Then danger is great that he is dependent, sold himself; Even if he's already in Europe. For example, 50 percent of Nigerians that arrive in Italy are exploited. Many thought y were working here as hairdressers, in fact y end up in prostitution.Updated Date: 15 July 2018, 12:02