Grim Milestone as Migrant Deaths, Disappearances Top 4,000 for Fifth Consecutive Year


Human Wrongs Watch

Berlin, 8 January 2019 (IOM)*  For the fifth consecutive year more than 4,000 people are believed to have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the globe, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports. 

photo_fatal_journeys1

Photo: IOM Archive.

While final data collection for 2018 is still being compiled from several jurisdictions, at least 4,592 migrants reportedly died or disappeared during their journeys, down 20 per cent from the previous year, and over 8,000 in 2016.

Half (2,297) of those people were among the more than 116,000 migrants known to have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean.

There are few reliable sources of information about deaths and disappearances due to the clandestine nature of irregular migration so the data collected in some regions, particularly the desert approaches to Mediterranean crossing routes, are incomplete.

Underlining the perils involved in those movements, multiple tragedies on all three Mediterranean routes in the final two weeks of the year claimed the lives of at least 23 people including two children; 31 others are reported missing.

The coast guards, navies and rescue agencies of several nations, non-governmental groups running rescue operations and a US-flagged cargo vessel together reportedly rescued at least 135 migrants at sea in the final two weeks of the year.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

*SOURCE: IOM. Go to ORIGINAL.

2019 Human Wrongs Watch

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