My team and I first came to cover the G7 talks, in which US President Donald Trump successfully fended off an Italian proposal for all the countries at the table to treat the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea as a humanitarian emergency.
But we then stayed on to have a look at the crisis now.
As it turns out, things are going from bad to worse, with the Libyan coastguard, such as it is, involving itself in rescues by boarding dinghies full of refugees and then firing into the air and robbing them, at least according to the victims and NGOs.
To add insult to injury, the rescuers themselves are now increasingly being blamed for making the crisis worse by being too good at saving people.
Some bloggers in Italy started unfounded rumours that impeccable organisations like Doctors Without Borders (MSF) were being paid by the smugglers.
Italian society, tuned in to institutional corruption, has decided this sounds likely and also assumes the government is in on it as a way of importing cheap labour and undercutting the jobs market.
In the face of a tidal wave of utter cynicism, my team and I then went to visit a reception centre for young girls who are benefitting from a new Italian law, which gives child care specialists more power to look after them when they arrive.
The law may have other effects as well. For as it turns out, the teenagers you often see on footage being rescued or getting off the ships in Sicily have very possibly become victims of forced prostitution.
We conducted a series of interviews at the reception centre with teenagers who explained how female traffickers persuaded them to leave their homes in countries like Nigeria on the promise of a job.
Once out of the country, they were threatened and forced into prostitution to pay off a debt, the figure invented by the traffickers.
Jan 22, 2020A Myanmar-appointed panel concluded on Monday (Jan 20) that some soldiers likely committed war crimes against its Rohingya Muslim community but the military was not guilty of genocide, findings swiftly condemned by rights groups. The “Independent Commission Of Enquiry (ICOE)” released the results of its probe just ahead of a ruling on Thursday by the […]
Mar 22, 2019
Mar 21, 2019