(CNN)The baby's lifeless body is cradled in the arms of a German rescue volunteer.
Little is known about the child pulled from the sea in a diaper: not its age, its gender or its parents.
All that's known is how the child died, according to the humanitarian organization that captured the image: Drowning in the central Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya after a wooden boat carrying some 350 migrants capsized.
That was enough to draw people's attention to the heartbreaking photo, making it the latest symbol of a growing crisis. You can see it in the second slide in the gallery above.
More than 2,500 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean while attempting to cross into Europe so far this year, the U.N. Refugee Agency said this week, with at least 880 drowning in the past week alone. Many died in three shipwrecks.
German nonprofit Sea-Watch, which assists in rescuing migrants at sea, said it took the photo on May 27 while assisting the Italian Navy.
The group could not provide a specific number of people believed to have died in the capsizing. It said many of the migrants had already drowned by the time Sea-Watch arrived at the boat site.
The man in the image is a German trauma therapist and father of three volunteering with Sea-Watch, the organization told CNN.
The organization did not take lightly the decision to release the photo, a representative said. It did so to highlight the graveness of the situation and to draw attention to what it calls an insufficient response from the European Union to the migrant crisis. The group joined the growing chorus of aid workers calling on the European Union to provide safe passage for refugees before an expected summer spike in migration.
"If we do not want to see such pictures we have to stop producing them," Sea-Watch founder Harald Höppner said in a statement.
"In the wake of these disastrous events it becomes obvious that the calls by EU politicians to avoid further death at sea sum up to nothing more than lip service."