As Migrant Deaths Mount, EU Needs to Rethink Border, Aid Policies

10/15/2013
Huffington Post

The Mediterranean Sea has become a death valley for thousands of migrants desperate to enter Europe. On Friday a boat containing 200 migrants capsized off the coast of Italy, killing 34. The Friday before, more than 300 migrants drowned near the Italian Island of Lampedusa.

This unprecedented humanitarian crisis can be directly linked to the militarization of European borders. Instead of preventing migration, European policies are forcing migrants to take more dangerous routes, funneling them into a perilous passage that often ends in death.

From Greece to Italy to Spain, Europe has become increasingly hostile toward the thousands of migrants who land on their shores each year. The EU established a new agency Frontex, which intercepts immigrants at EU borders and coastal waters; Greece put up a barb-wire fence along the Turkey-Greek border and legislation has been put in place that allows EU members, such as Germany and France, to return undocumented migrants to their point of origin in Europe.

Despite these attempts at creating a "Fortress Europe," the demand for migration hasn't lessened and the body count is rising...

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