A total of 890 migrants rescued from perilous boats in the Mediterranean are brought to safety in Italy, and aid workers say more children than ever are among them. Sharon Reich reports.
Nearly 900 migrants plucked to safety from rickety boats in the Mediterranean arrive at the Sicilian port of Catania. As summer approaches, officials say the number of immigrants coming to Europe via Italy is soaring again. But this year, emergency service providers say they're seeing a surge in the number of minors making the perilous journey alone. Save the Children Sicily spokesperson Giovanna di Benedetto says at least 6,100 minors have arrived so far. SOUNDBITE: SPOKESPERSON FOR SAVE THE CHILDREN IN SICILY, GIOVANNA DI BENEDETTO, SAYING (ITALIAN): "We are increasingly coming across much younger children, children of nine or ten years of age who have made the journey alone or who have lost their parents or family members with whom they were traveling, as was the case two days ago with the small nine-month-old Nigerian baby girl and the five-year-old boy from Sudan." The latest arrivals come on the heels of a challenging week. Just one day earlier, at least 45 migrants died in a shipwreck and some 2,000 were rescued from boats. The U.N. estimates that the week's total number of rescued asylum seekers totals about 14,000. Aid workers say the shock of the past days' shipwrecks was particularly visible in the young migrants, many of whom don't know how to swim. The IOM estimates that so far nearly 1,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year.