After years of relatively steady or declining numbers of migrants leaving, in the past year, there’s been a five-fold increase in the number of people trying to get to Italy. And thousands more are queuing up to make the journey.

The sea has always been kind to the people of Kerkennah Island.

For generations, Tunisian fishermen have made a good living on Kerkennah island. However now‚  they’re seeing boats carrying a very different type of cargo.

Rising unemployment and record low wages are creating a sense of hopelessness in Tunisia. In 2016  about one thousand, 200 Tunisian migrants reached Italy by boat.

Last year that number leapt five-fold‚ exceeding 6,100. In the first half of this year alone, a more than 3,000 Tunisians had made the journey.  But not every crossing is successful.

In the first of a six part series,TRT World’s Melinda Nucifora reports.

 Unemployment driving illegal migration to Italy

Tunisia is grappling with a wave of immigration. Rising unemployment and record low wages are driving thousands of Tunisians to seek illegal passage to Italy.  In the past year, the number of migrants has risen five-fold.

In the second of a six part series,TRT World‘s Melinda Nucifora met two men making money out of this dangerous journey.

TunisianMonitorOnline (TRT World)