The recent tragic sinking of a migrant vessel off the Greek coast has once again brought attention to the dire crisis fueled by conflict, poverty, and climate change. Each year, up to 100,000 migrants attempt the treacherous journey to Europe in unsafe boats. A new film by investigative journalist Ian Urbina sheds light on the ongoing battle in international waters, where humanitarian NGOs like Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) bravely rescue migrants while facing off against the Libyan Coast Guard.

Urbina’s film reveals the European Union’s controversial approach to stemming the migrant flow. The EU has created a shadow immigration system that intercepts migrants before they reach the high seas, forcibly returning them to Libyan detention centers under the control of militias. In this struggle between NGOs and the coast guard, the fate of the desperate passengers hangs in the balance.

This report is part of The Outlaw Ocean Project, a dedicated initiative focused on exposing human rights violations and environmental crimes committed with impunity on the open seas. Previously, Urbina’s films uncovered the shocking murder of occupants on an East African fishing dhow by foreign fishers, as well as the detrimental impact of fishmeal factories and foreign trawlers in West Africa.

For more information on the project and to explore additional reports highlighting violations across the globe, visit the project’s website. Ian Urbina’s film series provides a compelling and eye-opening exploration of the complex issues plaguing our oceans and the vulnerable individuals caught in their midst.