A record number of migrants have risked crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year to escape conflict in their home countries, facing uncertainty but relative safety in Europe.
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration said Friday that more than 430,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015, more than double last year’s total.
Many risk traveling in rickety boats and 2,748 have drowned in the attempt, according to the IOM.
In one particular disaster, 34 refugees drown off the coast of the Greek island Lesbos — nearly half of them children — when their wooden boat capsized, Reuters reported.
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said the “shocking images” of desperate migrants trying to reach safe havens underscores the need for a coordinated approach that protects the children involved. European Union ministers met Monday to try to come up with a standard plan.
Germany, which expects to take in 1 million migrants this year, is tightening border security by conducting random vehicle checks along major roads bordering Austria.
Austria and Slovakia also have reintroduced border checks, while Hungary has erected a razor-wire border fence to try to keep out migrants making their way to other European countries.