By Silvia Marchetti (news.com.au)|
Sara Unutu is an Ethiopian chef at a popular ethnic restaurant in sun-kissed Tuscany, central Italy.
She’s happy, married with a baby girl born in Italy, well integrated in society and speaks fluent Italian.
But this is her second life: Sara Unutu is a refugee — and her past is gloomy. She had to face a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to safety in search of a brighter future in Italy.
Sara is one of the so-called “boat people”.
That’s how Italians have dubbed the thousands of migrants who land on Italy’s shores almost on a daily basis: desperate refugees who decide to go to sea on unstable vessels without the certainty of ever reaching Europe.
More and more people have been trying to cross to Italy from the African coast over the summer months, particularly from Libya, where people-traffickers operate with relative impunity, but also from Egypt.
According to latest data by the UN Refugee agency since the start of the year there have been roughly 330,000 sea arrivals in the Mediterranean, of which 3211 are dead or missing migrants. Of the total figure, 130,500 migrants have landed on Italian shores, more than 20,000 alone in August. The figures are four per cent higher than in the same period last year and are set to rise. Rome’s Government expects some 200,000 refugees to land by end of this year on its beaches.
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