Migrants rescued from Mediterranean disembark in Ancona

STORY: On Jan.5 sea rescue charities condemned tough anti-immigration measures recently introduced by the Italian government, saying the new rules will cause ever more deaths in the Mediterranean.

The decree, which was introduced last week, says charity ships must request a port and sail to it "without delay" after a rescue, rather than remain at sea looking for other migrant boats in distress, as it now happens.

Ship captains risk fines of $52,760 and having their boats impounded if they break the rules.

A group of 17 NGOs released a joint statement to express their "gravest concerns" over the law drawn up by

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's conservative coalition, which won power last year promising to cut migrant flows to Italy.