European states have come under renewed pressure from human rights and refugee organisations to mount large-scale search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean after the latest migrant boat disaster led to the drowning of an estimated 400 people. Critics say that the cancellation last year of an Italian-run sea rescue mission, Mare Nostrum, and the launch in November of Triton, a much smaller border surveillance operation by the EU, created the conditions for the higher death toll. They point to the figure of 900 dead so far this year, far greater than in the same period in 2014, as proof that the end of Mare Nostrum failed to deter migrants while leaving far fewer safeguards in place to rescue victims of frequent shipwrecks. Full story >>
The cartoon by Peter Brookes from The Times shows a map of the European Union countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Italy, which resembles a leg with a boot on it, is kicking a dinghy full of people into the sea, symbolizing the EU's responsibility in the latest migrant boat disaster.