Europe's Immigration Disaster

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On 3 October 2013 a boat carrying more than 500 migrants from North Africa capsized off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Three hundred and sixty people perished, many of them women and children. It was one of Europe's worst maritime disasters since the Second World War.

Award-winning photographer Zed Nelson tells the inside story of the tragedy, through the testimony of survivors, and locals who were the first on the scene. Nelson follows the clandestine onward journey of the survivors as they navigate the illegal immigration route out of Italy into Northern Europe.

At the centre of the programme is the story of one remarkable young woman: one of only five women who survived. Fanus, a teenager from Eritrea, tells of the desire to escape a life of military servitude that motivated her flight from the country.

She recounts the extraordinary hardship she suffered crossing Africa and how, although she couldn't swim, she somehow survived for hours in the water after the boat went down.

Fanus is caught up as a witness in an extraordinary court case involving a man accused of her kidnap. She then escapes and goes to incredible lengths to circumvent the European asylum system in order to reach the country she dreams of living in.

A remarkable portrait of human determination, the programme raises questions about the strength of Europe's immigration barriers and the lengths desperate refugees will go to in order to breach them.

Europe's Immigration Disaster synopsis

On 3 October 2013, 360 people died when a boat carrying migrants from North Africa capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa. This documentary tells the inside story of the tragedy.

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