migrant carries child on Lampedusa

Newborn baby found dead on migrant boat


A newborn baby has been found dead on a migrant boat heading to the Italian island of Lampedusa. Reports say the infant died soon after being born during the voyage.

Earlier this week, a five-month-old baby boy drowned off Lampedusa after a migrant boat capsized.

Italy is wrestling with a surge in arrivals from North Africa. PM Giorgia Meloni is calling again for a naval blockade.

Meloni came to power on the back of anti-migrant promises, and the increase in illegal immigrants arriving in Italy is a political headache for her.

So far this year, nearly 126,000 migrants are reported to have by boat so far this year. This is almost double the figure by the same date in 2022.

Lampedusa is the first port of call for most of the boats as it sits closer to Africa than the Italian mainland.  Around 7,000 landed within a day this week on the tiny island, which is more than the island’s population.

Most of the boats are leaving from Tunisia, which has replaced Libya as the main departure point.

Meloni asks for EU help and consideration

Meloni invited the head of the European Commission to see conditions on Lampedusa. She also called for a deal with Tunisia in an attempt to stem the flow to be implemented.

Furthermore, she has written to European Council President Charles Michel to ask for immigration to be on the agenda at an EU summit in October.

“I intend to reiterate a request for an immediate EU mission to block the departure of migrant boats,” said Ms Meloni.

“Obviously, Italy and Europe cannot welcome this massive influx of people, especially when these migrant flows are being managed by unscrupulous traffickers.”

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has joined calls for the EU to share the burden of receiving migrants.

“It can’t just be on those frontline states like Italy that receive the initial arrivals to have to accommodate them for the longer term,” said spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh.

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