Sixty per cent of Egyptian illegal immigrants to Italy are children and minors, the EU Ambassador to Egypt James Moran revealed yesterday.
Moran said that 500,000 migrants have arrived in Europe during the recent period, which is considered the largest refugee crisis since World War I, adding that more than 60 per cent of Egyptian migrants to Italy are children.
He stressed that the EU is interested in strengthening the cooperation in the fight against immigration, acknowledging that there is a crisis and a state of emergency to combat illegal immigration.
The president of the National Coordinating Committee on Preventing and Combating Illegal Migration, Naela Gabr, said that Egypt is interested in all the dimensions associated with illegal immigration because smuggling immigrants is a national crime which adversely affects human rights, including the right to live.
Gabr explained Egypt fines smugglers between 200,000 and 500,000 Egyptian pounds ($25,540-$63,851), and jails them for life if children are used in a crime.
Egypt’s coasts are considered one of the points from which illegal immigrants begin their journey to Europe.