Newsround in Sicily: Europe's migration crisis

  • 23 April 2015
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Ayshah reports from Sicily, where many migrant ships arrive

Each year thousands of men, women and children attempt a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Many of them are trying to escape poverty and war in their home countries.

But the journey is very dangerous and hundreds of people have died trying to reach Europe.

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Ayshah meets a migrant family in Europe

Why is the journey so unsafe?

Criminal gangs pack too many people into small boats, which leak and often sink. There's nobody to make sure the journey is safe.

The unsafe boats mean people have lost their lives at sea.

Ayshah has been to Sicily, an island near Italy, where rescue boats arrive every day, to find out what's being done to help.

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Ayshah sees rescue boat arrive in Sicily
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'We welcome them, make them feel comfortable' - charity worker

Why do migrants risk the journey?

The United Nations says 13,500 migrants have been rescued trying to reach Europe so far this year.

Around 35,000 migrants have arrived from Africa in 2015.

On 18 April a boat carrying up to 900 people sank. Authorities say 28 people were rescued; but many more died.

European leaders are meeting this week to try to work out what to do.

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Martin reports on why migrants make the dangerous journey
Image copyright Italian navy/ap
Image caption This is just one migrant boat that was rescued by the Italian navy. The navy provided life jackets to migrants on the overcrowded boat.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Thousands of people have died making the dangerous journey. The coastguard searches for survivors in the water.
Image copyright AP
Image caption The future is uncertain for those that do make it to Europe. They do not know whether they will be allowed to stay.

Where are the migrants from?

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Ricky explains where some migrants are travelling from...

Most migrants travelling to Italy are from Eritrea, Mali and Nigeria. They travel through Africa to Libya.

From Libya they board boats, many of which are not safe, and head to Italy.

There are also a huge number of migrants trying to reach Europe from Syria, trying to escape a civil war in their own country.

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