The Mediterranean is one of the deadliest migrant routes in recent history, with the UN calling it a "humanitarian crisis". In 2014, at least 348,000 people made the perilous journey with the hopes of a better life in Europe.
Migrants spend thousands of dollars for the journey, which is often extremely dangerous. The boats are overcrowded and can get lost, capsize or face weather troubles. After the vessels are intercepted, a majority of the migrants continue into Europe, with some taken into refugee centres.
Not everyone is lucky enough to survive the journey, however. Recently, 29 African migrants died of hypothermia after being picked up by Italian rescue boats.
New trends are also emerging in these smuggling enterprises. Traffickers are beginning to use social media platforms to reach migrants – advertising journeys to Europe on Twitter, costing upwards of $5,000 (4,428 euros), with a “discount for children under 10.”
FRANCE 24's Natalia Mendoza, Samir Al Quaryouti and Charlotte Davan Wetton have the full story.