Search and Rescue Must Be Strengthened after Migrant Deaths

Lampedusa, Italy (Feb. 10, 2015) – Save the Children is calling upon on Italy and Europe to strengthen its search and rescue capabilities in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent further tragedies following the deaths of 29 migrants owing to hypothermia.

The migrants attempting this treacherous sea crossing were picked up by the Italian coastguard after fleeing from violence in their home countries, including Libya.

“Appalling sea conditions encountered in the winter haven’t disrupted the flow of arrivals by sea. There is firm evidence of no alternatives for those who are forced, in spite of everything, to attempt this desperate crossing,” said Rafaella Milano of Save the Children Italy.

“Save the Children repeatedly raised concerns when the Italian navy’s comprehensive search-and-rescue operation was stopped last October, citing fears about accentuating the already extreme risks faced by migrants, especially those most vulnerable, such as women and children who are a constant presence in sea crossings.

According to our estimates, since the beginning of 2015, about 3,709 migrants have landed in Italy, including 195 women and 390 children, 149 of them unaccompanied and 241 accompanied.”

Every day, children around the world are severely affected by crises and events which are out of their control. No one knows when, or where, the next crisis will occur. For nearly 100 years, Save the Children has been on the front lines of emergency and humanitarian responses around the world. Our Children’s Emergency Fund was established to provide assistance to children in their time of greatest need.
Donate Now

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.


We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add to your contact list.

By providing my mobile phone number, I agree to receive recurring text messages from Save the Children (48188) and phone calls with opportunities to donate and ways to engage in our mission to support children around the world. Text STOP to opt-out, HELP for info. Message & data rates may apply. View our Privacy Policy at