For Migrants, A Perilous Journey Across the Mediterranean

Young man from Gambia prays inside the transit camp of Augusta few hours after being rescued at sea.
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One year after 366 people drowned near Lampedusa, Italy, during a desperate attempt to reach Europe, many thousands more have undertaken the same perilous journey. War and protracted crises, including the conflict in Syria and the violence in Libya, have pushed an unprecedented number of people to pay smugglers to help them cross the Mediterranean Sea, their only option to reach Europe. 

The Central Mediterranean route from Northern Libya to Italy may well be the most dangerous. The risk of dying at sea is high, but equally dangerous is the extreme violence often experienced along the way at the hands of illegal traffickers who control and profit from the desperation of those who are willing to risk everything.

Young man from Gambia prays inside the transit camp of Augusta few hours after being rescued at sea.
MSF has set up a tent clinic at the port of Augusta, providing 24 hour medical care to the new arrivals. The urgent cases are taken directly to the hospital upon arrival. The majority of the medical problems the MSF team encounters are related to the journey people undertake to leave their countries: minor traumas due to unsafe trip conditions, skin diseases due to lack of hygiene (for example in detention centres in Libya), respiratory tract infections, dehydration, gastrointestinal problems due to the quality of water and food.
Ikram N'gadi
Young Eritrean woman kissing the ground of Augusta port after sea rescue operation.
Ikram N'gadi
An Eritrean girl at transit camp in Augusta port. She feels safe now in Italy and is looking forward to her new life. She speaks four different languages and is confident about the future. I came from Eritrea, through Sudan to Libya. I lived three months in Libya. There was a terrible war in Tripoli. There was no food or water available. The smugglers are the ones who beat you, take your money and take care of the trip (to Italy). My husband and I didn’t come together. He arrived first and I arrived the following day. When he saw me, he wanted to greet me so he was beaten. We were separated and stayed in different houses. Me, I was not hurt. But they say for a woman alone, things happen in the desert; there are rape and abuse cases; girls are taken away, they get pregnant. The Libyans use drugs and drink. We spent three days in the desert. I saw three people buried; one had diabetes, he wanted a sip of water and food. They beat him and he died. They buried him in the desert and that was it. Death crossed my mind, yes. They beat you, they deprive you of food and water and they insult you. You cry day and night. You shed tears around the clock. You remember your homeland and when you call your parents, you lie; you say I am fine. You say I eat and drink, while you are sick and dying.
Ikram N'gadi
Syrians take pictures of their journey with the use of smart phone video and camera.
Ikram N'gadi
MSF has set up a tent clinic at the port of Augusta, providing 24 hours medical care to the new arrivals. The urgent cases are taken directly to the hospital upon arrival. The majority of the medical problems the MSF team encounters are related to the journey people undertake to leave their countries: minor traumas due to unsafe trip conditions, skin diseases due to lack of hygiene (for example in detention centres in Libya), respiratory tract infections, dehydration, gastrointestinal problems due to the quality of water and food.
Ikram N'gadi
Four people died after a boat leaving Libya with hundred people on board sunk on his way to Italy. An Italian boat arrived in time to rescue the rest of people but only one body was retrieved.
Ikram N'gadi