One-year-old infant crosses the Mediterranean unaccompanied by his parents

One-year-old infant crosses the Mediterranean unaccompanied by his parents
Credit: Belga

An unaccompanied infant reportedly sent by his parents on the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe arrived safely in Lampedusa, Italian media reported on Saturday.

The infant, who appeared to be barely a year old, was spotted by rescuers among some 70 men on a boat that landed on Friday on the Sicilian Island, Belga News Agency reports.

They were among some 500 migrants who arrived in seven different landings on the small island over the past two days, according to the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

‘He crossed the Mediterranean even before learning to walk. He braved the waves alone,’ the newspaper wrote, stressing that the child was ‘too young to reveal his name and story.’

The other migrants did not know the infant’s identity, but his parents had reportedly begged them to keep him safe during the crossing because they had not been able to board the boat with him.

A preventable problem

Other migrants who arrived recently in Lampedusa included a 14-year-old whose mother drowned during a rescue attempt off the island, according to La Repubblica.

‘She was travelling on a boat with 25 other people, including her own son who saw her drown,’ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors without Borders) wrote on Twitter.

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MSF described this as ‘another preventable loss on Europe’s doorstep, another life claimed by irresponsible migration policies.’

Attempts by migrants to reach Europe by boat from Libya or Tunisia have increased sharply this year. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), about 1,340 persons have died trying to cross the central Mediterranean since the start of the year, Belga noted.

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