On Sunday, Maltese authorities refused to disembark 56 children at its ports, including a large number of unaccompanied minors. This comes after 169 illegal immigrants were rescued from Libyan waters, while other children were rescued inside Maltese waters and boarded other boats.
A Spanish-flagged humanitarian ship, Open Arms stated on Sunday that it was also seeking a port of safety for 265 migrants, and its crew.
The charity tweeted that its vessel had safely brought aboard 96 migrants who had been found adrift in a wooden boat, without life vests in international waters. It said the passengers, most of them from Eritrea, included two women, and seventeen minors suffering from hypothermia. In a separate operation two days prior it took aboard 169 migrants, also coming from Libya.
Human traffickers launch overcrowded vessels, many of them flimsy rubber dinghies or rickety fishing boats, towards European shores.
Italy and Malta have often refused docking permission to these rescue boats, claiming that most migrants want to reach jobs or relatives in northern Europe. Italian and Maltese government authorities have insisted that other EU members should work together and lessen the burden.