The child, unaccompanied, was found on a boat, among 70 men. His parents were unable to board with him.
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The story is hardly believable. An unaccompanied one-year-old child, allegedly sent by his parents to attempt the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean alone, has arrived safe and sound on the island of Lampedusa, Italian media reported on Saturday (December 18th). The child, who is said to be barely 1 year old, was spotted by rescuers in the middle of some 70 men on a boat which docked on the Sicilian island on Friday, according to the daily. La Repubblica.
Some 500 migrants have arrived in seven separate landings on the small island in the past two days, according to the newspaper. “He crossed the Mediterranean before he even learned to walk. He braved the waves alone”, added the newspaper, pointing out that the child is “too young to reveal his name and history”. The other migrants did not know the identity of the child, but his parents allegedly pleaded with them to keep him safe during the crossing, possibly because they had not been able to board with him, according to the daily.
The departures of migrants wishing to reach Europe via the Mediterranean, from Libya or Tunisia, are up sharply compared to previous years. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), some 1,340 people have died attempting the dangerous crossing of the central Mediterranean since the start of the year.