Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show NGO Migrant Aid Workers Dancing With Migrants In Lampedusa, Italy

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show NGO Migrant Aid Workers Dancing With Migrants In Lampedusa, Italy Not Lampedusa

Does a video show African citizens joyfully dancing with NGO workers upon their arrival on the Italian island of Lampedusa during the September 2023 migrant surge, raising questions about the role of NGOs in large-scale migrations? No, that's not true: the images, which do show migrants dancing with NGO workers, were not captured in Italy and predate September 2023.

In Romania, the claim appeared in a video (archived here), posted by user @iondragoshoreabarezerva on September 17, 2023, with the following caption:

Women working for NGOs are dancing with the emigrants who arrived in Italy. What do they really have to celebrate?

(All texts were translated from Romanian to English by the Lead Stories staff.)

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Migrants dancing Lampedusa.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Sep 22 12:13:54 2023 UTC)

The user claims that the ladies in white vests are from NGOs and they are all dancing together, very happy that these guys made it to Lampedusa. To back his theory, all emigrants coming to Lampedusa, Italy as well as the USA, are brought there by NGOs. "Do you understand that the NGOs are behind them?" he repeats in the end.

However, the scene did not take place in Lampedusa. It was videotaped the month before this post and in a French town 1,700 miles north of Lampedusa.

On August 25, 2023, the identical video was shared on X by @BFirstParty, the official account of the British political party Britain First. In the accompanying caption, they accused the NGO Care4Calais of being "traitorous" due to an embarrassing mistake of dancing with refugees at the UK border. One of the women seen dancing in the video was identified by the red and white logo on her jacket as being affiliated with Care4Calais.

Following a fact-checking inquiry by France 24 - Les Observateurs, Care4Calais verified that the video indeed shows some of its volunteers dancing alongside refugees. This interaction is among the various ways they connect with refugees, aside from their primary role of distributing aid. Care4Calais also confirmed that the video was not filmed during September 2023.

"There is no context to the video", the NGO said, adding: "Care4Calais delivers humanitarian aid to refugees in northern France". The organization's website also explains that its volunteers work with refugees in the UK, France, and Belgium. There is no evidence that members of Care4Calais are currently in the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, where almost 10,000 migrants arrived in mid-September.

  Lead Stories Staff

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