Join me today in praying for African migrants and refugees and the dangers they face traveling to Europe. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk and I am passionate about international crisis relief. I write Humanitarian Prayers to encourage people to pray for those suffering most in our world.
I pray that human traffickers taking African migrants to Europe will not continue to put them in such great dangers. I pray that inflatable rafts will no longer be used to cross the Mediterranean Sea. I pray that migrants will not continue to drown in the Mediterranean.
I pray that for those fleeing conflict, the countries and regions they come from will stabilize and be at peace. I pray that for those fleeing poverty, the international community, domestic government, and other forces will make greater efforts for economic growth in their countries.
I pray that European countries will not see immigrants as a pest. I pray that European governments will not continue to get in the way of efforts to save African migrants at sea. I pray that these migrants will be treated with mercy and compassion and that wherever they go, they will be met by people with resources to help them.
Notes and Explanations
Boats full of Africans from various countries fleeing poverty and conflict take off from the northern shore of Libya every day in the hopes of landing in Europe. These immigrants are going through illegal channels to reach Europe, paying human traffickers large amounts of money to get them to the Mediterranean coast and then to get them to Europe.
Most of the boats these migrants are placed on are simple and extremely hazardous rafts, never meant for the open seas. Often these rafts are filled with too many people (who usually aren’t given lifejackets) and sink. Over 1500 of these migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean in 2018.
Nonprofit and humanitarian organizations deploy rescue vessels from European ports to rescue these migrants. However, once the rescue boat full is of migrants, they are often not allowed to go back to European ports. This is essentially because many European countries do not want any more immigrants.
However, this is a huge problem when rescue boats with hundreds of people on board are stranded at sea with nowhere to unload. Rescue boats are not allowed to return the migrants to the coast of Libya under international law because Libya is not a safe place.
There have been countless instances this summer of rescue boats riding in circles in the Mediterranean because one after another, European countries are refusing to allow these migrants to enter their country. Rescue vessels have even been barred from leaving certain European ports at times (to go rescue potential migrants).
For everything you need to know about Mediterranean search and rescue operations, click here to read from MSF/Doctors Without Borders.