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Refugees Flee By Boat, Only To Die At Sea

More Than 20,000 Dead In Last Seven Years Alone

The UN believes more than 200 died last year trying to reach Indonesia and Malaysia (file photo)
©BBC News

Refugees fleeing their home countries have often sought an escape through water. For many thousands, this often results in death. To be so fearful of dying from your own country that the only option is to grab a small or overcrowded boat and keep faith you will make it to a shore where you’ll be accepted is a terrifying prospect. There is of course no guarantee in such desperate journeys through water, but many seeking asylum see it as their only option.

Even less certain is that the country they reach will allow them to seek asylum. Many refugees attempt to direct themselves toward the Mediterranean Sea, in an effort to reach European nations. However, since 2014, over 20,000 have died in this attempt.

Only one in six people will survive this journey.

Refugees are starving and dehydrating on these boats and many on small boats are drowning. The boats aren’t built to hold refugees for long periods of time. Eventually, they start to break down quickly and the people have no other option than to accept death by water, while trying to escape certain death from back home. Those who die on the boat are often thrown over the edge to create less weight and not to contaminate the already horrendous conditions. Many refugees are traveling the shorter route to asylum through Indonesia and Malaysia; however, there is never guarantee they will be accepted there.

Such refugees are in dire need of help. Humanitarian efforts are needed to establish search and rescue teams immediately to receive and assist people in these extremely dangerous situations, before they die trying to flee a country that already wants them dead.


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