Health Care

Off the coast of Italy found the bodies of 26 girls

Off the coast of Italy found the bodies of 26 girls”

An Egyptian and Libyan have been arrested and charged in Italy over the deaths of 26 young Nigerian women across the Mediterranean.

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The bodies of the victims - all believed to be Nigerians - were brought on a Spanish ship to Italy last Sunday, where the authorities are looking into how they died.

According to United Kingdom's The Guardian, Harar, from Libya, and Al Bouzid, an Egyptian, were identified by the survivors as among those who allegedly tumbled one of the boats.

An autopsy on the bodies should be completed by next week.

But Salvatore Malfi, the police prefect of the southern town of Salerno, has reservations about the women being victims of sex trafficking.

But, in response to concerns that the women were being trafficked for the sex trade, he added: "Sex trafficking routes are different, with different dynamics used".

The House Leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila in a motion of urgent public importance said that it was curious that the 26 girls found dead were Nigerians.

UNICEF said women and unaccompanied child migrants rely on people smugglers to get to Europe, often under a "pay as you go system", leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and violence, including prostitution and rape.

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"It was a very tough experience. But, also, women travelling alone with their children have been abused". 375 migrants who survived and was taken to Salerno, are Africans from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Gambia and Sudan. 23 of them were in an inflatable rubber boat, along with another 64 people.

Meanwhile, she also commended the Italian authorities for immediately stepping into the matter with the hope of resolving the murders as she called on the government to set up an inter-agency committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigerian Immigration Service, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and any other relevant agencies to immediately work out a strategy to stem the tide of illegal migration to Europe.

The central Mediterranean route from the coast of Libya to Italy is now the favoured route of undocumented migrants, most of whom are Nigerians.

Despite the drop, traffickers are still sending migrant boats out into the Mediterranean: the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday that more than 2,560 migrants had been saved over four days.

A total of 2,715 people died on the central Mediterranean route between January 1 and November 5, it added.



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