Oxfam calls on European leaders to ensure safer passages to the continent to avoid further deaths

Hundreds are feared dead after a boat capsized carrying migrants from Egypt to Italy

Oxfam calls on European leaders to ensure safer passages to the continent to avoid further deaths

Amel Emric / AP/Press Association Images

Hundreds of migrants are feared dead after four boats travelling from Egypt to Italy, capsized in the Mediterranean sea. 

Details are still emerging but reports suggest that less than 30 passengers have been saved. It is believed that many of those on board the vessels are originally from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

This incident, if confirmed, comes one year after 800 migrants and refugees drowned, when an overcrowded fishing boat overturned. They were attempting to cross the sea from Libya when the tragedy occurred.

Oxfam says Europe is failing to deal with the migration crisis, with 10,000 people reported to have tried to reach Europe between Libya and Italy, in March alone.

Speaking to Newstalk's Juliette Gash, Chief Executive Jim Clarken says today's tragedy shows the EU is failing to protect people:

"Because of the draconian and inhumane border closures and various deals that have been done, this is what has led to further tragedies."

"Until European leaders ensure safe and legal passage to Europe, more deaths are inevitable and each death is an indictment of Europe's lack of positive response to the crisis."