Pope Francis says migrants "are not dangerous, but in danger."
The head of the Catholic Church spoke as he met with hundreds of children on May 28, including a migrant boy from Nigeria whose parents drowned in a shipwreck in an effort to reach Italy.
An estimated 10,000 people were rescued this week near the Libyan coast as a bout of good weather kicked off a fresh stream of boats trying to cross from north Africa -- some of which capsized at sea.
UNICEF Italy says three infants were among 45 bodies recovered at sea on May 27. The tragedy followed the death of 30 people in a shipwreck on May 26 and around 100 feared missing after a boat capsized on May 25.
Pope Francis has frequently spoken out regarding the plight of migrants, including visiting the Greek island of Lesbos last month. He brought 12 refugees back on his plane to set an example of how countries should welcome refugees.
The influx of migrants and refugees into Europe in recent years has fanned popular fears of foreigners and prompted politicians to tighten border controls and limit the number of newcomers allowed to stay.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP