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Thousands of Tunisian Youths Reach EU


A group thought to be migrants from Tunisia aboard a precarious wooden boat waiting to be assisted by a team of the Spanish NGO Open Arms, around 20 miles southwest from the Italian island of Lampedusa, in Italian SAR zone. Taken 7.29.2021

More than 2,000 Tunisian youngsters this year have made the perilous Mediterranean crossing from the North African country to Italy to seek a better life, a rights group said Wednesday.

The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) said the minors were among a total of 10,139 Tunisian migrants to have made it to Italy since the start of 2022.

More than 14,700 migrants, including many from sub-Saharan African nations, have been intercepted and turned back over the same period, FTDES said.

More than 14,700 migrants, including many from sub-Saharan African nations, have been intercepted and turned back over the same period, FTDES said.

Deprivation driven by a deep socioeconomic crisis "make the dangers of the sea a secondary factor for those migrants who dream of a better life for themselves and their children," FTDES said.

It also deplored "the inhumane politics of the European Union, which constrains the freedom of movement" of migrants.

Earlier this month, an unemployed Tunisian teacher and her four-year-old son drowned off the coast of Monastir, prompting an outpouring of national grief.

More than 650 would-be migrants, including hundreds of Tunisians, were intercepted in just one weekend earlier this month, according to the interior ministry.

Some four million people live below the poverty line in Tunisia.

Italy is a favored destination for migrants seeking to cross from North Africa to Europe as it is one of the closest nations. Attempted crossings usually rise during summer, when seas are calmer.

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