Mediterranean: 2016 data shows massive increase in deaths compared to 2015


Recent International Organization for Migration statistics paint a grim picture of the ongoing tragedy in the Mediterranean:

"International Organization for Migration reports an estimated 207,260 migrants, including refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 8 June, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain. Deaths so far this year are 2,856, compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. In other words, fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 are over 1,000 more than last year’s mid-year total, although we now are some three weeks shy of 2016’s mid-year point." (emphasis added)

See: Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 207,260; Deaths 2,856 (Missing Migrants Project, link) and the IOM infographic (pdf).

As pointed out in a separate IOM briefing:

"During the first five months of 2016, 1 in every 23 migrants has died attempting the journey across the Central Mediterranean to Europe. This represents a drastic worsening of the death toll. Since the beginning of 2014, the overall ratio of deaths to the number of migrant crossings has been 1 in 50. For 2015, it was 1 in 53. This ratio of deaths to attempted crossings worsened further in April and May 2016 when 1 migrant died for every 17 attempted crossings. This was 5 per cent of the total number of people who attempted the journey across the Central Mediterranean during these two months. These estimated figures, using the same methodology and sources since the beginning of 2014, indicate an increasingly deadly route, despite the widespread media attention and public and policy awareness of this continuing humanitarian disaster."

The briefing concludes:

"The available data on routes towards the Central Mediterranean and on deaths and arrivals indicate that since the end of March 2016, there have been rising numbers both of arrivals and deaths, with an increase in the number of large incidents and an unprecedented death toll for the last week of May 2016. This briefing seeks to inform policymakers and the general public of this change, in the context of previous and emerging European Union and national government policy interventions. The deadly events taking place in the Mediterranean are increasingly concentrated in the Central Mediterranean, a route that has become more significant with the effective closure of the Eastern Mediterranean route and the overland Western Balkans route, the implementation of the European Union–Turkey agreement, the relative porosity of borders in Libya and the increasingly dangerous conditions for the migrants living there. All these factors are thought to drive and influence the desperate choices made by migrants, along the various routes to the Central Mediterranean and which result in the increased number of arrivals on this route. With the closure of the Eastern Mediterranean route and the extreme dangers posed by the Central Mediterranean crossing, the numbers presented here seem to support warnings from officials and commentators of a major humanitarian crisis."

See: Global Migration Data Analysis Centre: The Central Mediterranean Route: Deadlier than ever (pdf)

 

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