Many worry a new EU mission – which replaces a larger Italian effort patrolling for refugees traveling from North Africa to Europe – means more migrants will die. This year, more than 3,000 people have perished – five times as many as in 2013.
They are packed into the stinking holds of ramshackle boats. Water and food are scarce, and they are beaten by ruthless smugglers if they dare to try to reach the deck for a lungful of air. The more truculent have at times simply been thrown overboard.