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VOA Special Report: ‘Adrift: The Invisible African Diaspora’

Amid news reports of migrants fleeing turmoil in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, over 150,000 people in 2015 have fled violence and hardship in Africa largely have gone unnoticed.

VOA French to Africa reporter Nicolas Pinault and VOA Somali reporter Abdulaziz Osman recently traveled to southern Italy to document the plight of African migrants who have made their way from East and West Africa across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Photos of what they saw and the harrowing stories they heard are part of a special multimedia series, “Adrift: The Invisible African Diaspora.”

Pinault and Osman’s reporting begins at the harbors of Sicily, where African migrants rescued at sea disembarked from European Union vessels. Their reporting continues to Rome and Milan, where Pinault and Osman document the challenges these migrants faced. Pinault followed some of these migrants to France, while Osman traveled with others to Germany and Austria.

"With this project, VOA gives a voice to the voiceless migrants who suffered throughout their journey across Africa and the Mediterranean Sea,” said Pinault. “Their testimonies are raw and gruesome, like the violence used by the smugglers. This web documentary is a unique opportunity to learn more about this brutal human trafficking,” Pinault added.

VOA News Center reporter Pete Cobus brings context to the series, detailing the political, economic and social challenges these migrants have endured.