An estimated 90 migrants are believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya following the capsizing of their boat. IOM spokeswoman Olivia Headon had confirmed that ten bodies had been washed ashore in Zuwara, a port city located in north-western Libya. “We are told that two survivors swam to shore, and one person was rescued by a fishing boat,” Headon reported. “We are working to get more details on the [capsizing] and where the survivors are so that we can assist them better.” With regards to the nationals’ bodies that were discovered, eight are believed to be Pakistani, along with two who are thought to be Libyan. Furthermore, it is suspected that a strong minority of those that were on the boat are believed to be from Pakistiani descent. Reports claim that there has recently been an upsurge in the number of Pakistani nationals attempting to cross the boat from Libya towards the European country of Italy. In the last year alone, over 3,100 Pakistani migrants managed to successfully reach Italy.
As for addressing the increase in the number of Pakistani migrants, humanitarian organisations do not have a clear-cut answer as to why this is the case. Speaking to The Telegraph on this issue, Headon pointed out the influence of smugglers, stating: “Smugglers sell migrants the idea of Europe as a kind of paradise, they are very good salesmen. Migrants may know the risks of the sea crossing but they think it will be worth it.” The EU are currently devoting their continuous efforts to ensure that the increased influx of migrants is dealt with efficiently. Last year, it was reported that European governments made a deal with the Libyan coastguard to return migrants back to Libya. However, the UN and supporting aid agencies accused the EU of devising a “inhumane approach” to tackling the issue.