Fears of People Traffickers Cynically Endangering Pregnant Migrants to Access Europe

A migrant from Lybia and her child disembark from Italy's Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) boat in the Italian Pelagie Island of Lampedusa on July 31, 2020. - The reception centre on the island is already overcrowded with migrants who have been arriving daily by the hundreds in recent weeks. (Photo …
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images

People traffickers in the Mediterranean sea are allegedly using pregnant women as “weapons” to encourage public sympathy for mass migration.

In the last few weeks, pregnant women have been present on several migrant boats, particularly those landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The presence of pregnant women has lad some to speculate that people traffickers may be using such vulnerable women as a means to increase their business by attracting the attention of authorities for quicker rescues and also influence public opinion, newspaper Il Giornale reports.

One child was even recently born aboard one of the migrant boats in recent days before being rescued along with 88 other migrants by a freighter vessel and transferred to the Italian coastguard which dropped the migrants off on Lampedusa.

The cruel alleged tactic can easily spell absolute disaster, however. In December, four pregnant women were among 20 migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe on an unseaworthy boat. A report in The Sun newspaper linked the deaths with an increase in people smuggler activity in the area at the time.

According to Il Giornale, the number of migrants arriving on Lampedusa from January 1st to February 23rd has nearly doubled compared to last year, with 4,157 migrants arriving within that period.

The last two weeks, in particular, have seen over 1,500 arrivals to the island, either through independent migrant boats or through migrant taxi NGO ships picking up migrants in the Mediterranean.

The Lampedusa reception centre, which is meant to house just 192 people, is also overwhelmed with at least 900 current occupants.

Last summer, the island faced similar tissues with overcrowding and ran out of space to quarantine newly arrived migrants who may be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.

Lampedusa Mayor Toto’ Martello decried the situation last August and questioned why a state of emergency had not been declared to deal with the influx of new migrants.

The potential spread of the Wuhan coronavirus continues to be a constant issue for Italy regarding new arrivals of illegal migrants and of the 422 migrants brought to Sicily earlier this month by the NGO SOS Mediterranee, at least 49 migrants tested positive for the virus.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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