Europe has been shocked into addressing the rapidly escalating crisis of migrants trying to reach its shores.

Thousands are making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, mainly from North Africa, fleeing from conflict, persecution and poverty at home in unprecedented numbers.

And hundreds are dying in pursuit of their dreams of a better life.

In the worst accident of its kind so far, up to 900 migrants are feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya on Sunday. Barely two dozen survived.

The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, says most on board, including children as young as 10, were from Syria, Eritrea and Somalia.

If the latest toll in Sunday's tragedy is confirmed, as many as 1,800 people will have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year.

The number who died during the same time last year was fewer than 100, a figure that rose to 3,000 deaths by the end of 2014.

It set an unwelcome record and one that now looks set to be broken.

So where should the EU’s priorities be when addressing the migrant crisis?


Presenter: Jane Dutton

Guests:

Gemma Parkin - Senior news manager for Save the Children

William Spindler - Senior communications officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Camino Mortera-Martinez - Research fellow at the Centre for European Reform

Source: Al Jazeera