It is feared that 1,600 migrants have already died this year attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea from North Africa to the European mainland. It's a situation that has been hauled to the top of the global news agenda by the disaster off the coast of Libya on Sunday, in which fewer than 30 migrants out of a boatload of 700-odd were saved from drowning. It is the biggest death toll ever to result from migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.
While the EU tries to figure out how to deal with the crisis, migrants attempting to trade persecution, conflict, and economic hardship for safety and opportunity continue to set out into the Med, enabled by opportunist people-traffickers overloading vessels to capsizing point.
The problem is one that VICE have been covering extensively for years, most recently with the VICE News video series Europe or Die. For an in-depth look at the problem, you can watch the series below.
Episode One: Storming Spain's Razor-Wire Fence
Episode Two: Death Boats to Greece
Episode Three: Trapped in Bulgaria
Episode Four: Migrant Prisons of Libya