Refugee baby born on beach in Lesbos moments after Syrian mother arrives in rubber boat

The moment was captured on camera by a Human Rights Watch director 

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 14 October 2015 16:01
A baby boy who was born on the beach in Lesbos after his Syrian mother arrived on a rubber boat
A baby boy who was born on the beach in Lesbos after his Syrian mother arrived on a rubber boat

A baby boy has reportedly been born on a beach on Lesbos, moments after his Syrian mother arrived on the Greek Island in a rubber boat.

Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted that mother and baby were “both fine and healthy” after the extraordinary birth.

Mr Bouckaert has just returned to Switzerland after a visit to the island, where he said refugee boasts were arriving “non-stop” despite the deteriorating weather.

Human Rights Watch has called on the Greek authorities to provide special protection to pregnant women and women with young children, who are often not treated as vulnerable groups.

He and his team filmed women crying as they arrived after their dangerous journey and shivering children wrapped in emergency blankets, as well as the moment a team of Israeli medical volunteers delivered the Syrian woman’s baby.

Greece said at the start of the week its emergency services rescued more than 1,600 refugees who arrived in boats from Turkey over the weekend.

The coastguard said there were 47 separate incidents where refugees were picked up at sea, sometimes while their boats were sinking.

Lesbos has been among the hardest hit Greek islands, at the forefront of an ongoing surge in refugee numbers which reached 170,000 in September.

The EU’s border control agency Frontex said 710,000 asylum seekers have entered the bloc so far, compared to 282,000 in the whole of 2014.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 3,000 people have now died while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year.

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