More than two thousand migrants die annually
The report published Tuesday said a total of 101,210 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea, with 85 percent arriving in Italy while the rest were divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. 2,247 deaths have been reported. As International Business Times writes in its article Migrant Deaths Exceed 2,000 For Fourth Consecutive Year As 100,000 Migrants Cross Mediterranean Sea, while the report states the total death rate is approaching 2,250, it is still less than the number of deaths recorded last year till July which was 2,963. However, this is the fourth consecutive year when the number of migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea has exceeded 2,000.
Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports there were 3,047 fatalities till July 2 with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths, at three quarters of the global total.
Another report released by the U.N. body in June had stated that 81,292 migrants, including refugees, entered Europe by sea until June 18. In the past few days, regional figures have been added up to 60 people missing in the Central Mediterranean as reported by survivors who disembarked in Brindisi, Italy. Nine bodies were recovered during last week’s rescue operations and taken to Catania, Italy, by a Swedish Coast Guard ship. Two had drowned in Rio Bravo and four bodies were retrieved in Tajura, Libya.
Italy is the main destination for migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea, due to its proximity with Libya. More than 500,000 migrants have passed through Italian ports since 2014, and numbers are on the rise again. Troubled with the increasing numbers of migrants, Italy has threatened to close its ports and impound rescue ships run by aid agencies carrying people from Libya, BBC reported.
Out of the three main routes used by refugees and migrants to reach Europe – the Western Mediterranean route, the Central Mediterranean route and the Eastern Mediterranean route have become the most commonly used, and also the deadliest, a study of mixed refugee and migrant flows by UNHSR states.
The report also found that around half of those traveling to Libya do so believing they can find jobs there, but end up fleeing onwards to Europe to escape life-threatening insecurity, instability, difficult economic conditions plus widespread exploitation and abuse.
According to the study, refugees and migrants in Libya are predominantly young men (80 percent), with an average age of 22 and 72 percent of them travel alone. Women tend to move towards Europe over a short period of time and many of them, particularly those from West and Central Africa, are victims of trafficking.
The number of unaccompanied and separated children traveling alone is also rising, and now represents some 14 percent of all arrivals in Europe via the Central Mediterranean route. These children come mainly from Eritrea, Gambia and Nigeria.
Refugees and migrants in Libya tend to have a low level of education, with 49 percent having little or no formal education and only 16 percent having received vocational training or higher education.