More than 29,000 people have died on migratory journeys to Europe since 2014, the International Organization for Migration said in a report released Tuesday, with 5,000 deaths in the past two years alone.
The organization’s Missing Migrants Project warned of the “growing number of deaths on roads across the Mediterranean, at land borders to Europe and within the continent.”
According to the IOM report, the central Mediterranean remains the deadliest migration route, with 2,836 migrants and refugees dying since January 2021 as they attempted to reach Italy or Malta via mainly Libya and Tunisia.
The second deadliest route is the Atlantic route from West Africa to the Spanish Canary Islands, with over 1,500 deaths recorded since 2021.
However, project researchers acknowledged that these numbers are likely to be lower than the actual death toll, given the difficulty in collecting and confirming information on “invisible shipwrecks” and disappearing boats. in sea without witnesses.
The death toll was also high in other regions bordering Europe, as well as in Greece, the Western Balkans and the English Channel, according to the report.
The Missing Migrants Project affirmed in a statement that many deaths could have been avoided with rapid and effective assistance to migrants in difficulty.
For the first time, the project has published statistics on deaths linked to so-called forced returns or expulsions by the European authorities. He counted 252 deaths based on survivor reports.
The report says 97 push-back-related deaths have been documented in the central Mediterranean, 70 in the eastern Mediterranean, 58 on the land border between Turkey and Greece, 23 in the western Mediterranean and 4 on the border between Belarus and Poland.
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