More Than 400 Refugees and Migrants Rescued in Mediterranean, 1 in 4 Thought to Be Children

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 23, 2016) – Save the Children’s vessel, the Vos Hestia, is heading to the Sicilian port of Trapani with more than 400 people on board – including approximately 100 children and several pregnant women. The vast majority of the minors are thought to be travelling all alone.

This latest rescue took place in complete darkness early Tuesday morning, when Save the Children spotted an overcrowded wooden boat in distress off the coast of North Africa following a call from the Italian Coast Guard. Working together with two other vessels on the scene – MOAS’ Topaz Responder and Mimden – Save the Children’s rescue team brought all refugees and migrants safely on board the ship in an operation lasting around three hours.

The on-board medical team has attended to several cases requiring immediate attention, while specialist child protection experts have been giving psycho-social support to all children and other vulnerable cases.

Save the Children staff will be present on land when the vessel docks in Italy, to help with the disembarkation process and ensure children have access to their basic needs and rights once they’ve arrived in Europe.

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