The number of migrants who have drowned trying to reach Europe has more than doubled in the past six months from the same period last year. This is evident from Tuesday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released figures. In the past six months, at least 1,146 migrants drowned, in 2020 there were 513. According to the researchers, the number of search and rescue operations leaves much to be desired.
The vast majority of men, women and children died while crossing the Mediterranean, especially on the dangerous so-called Central Sea Route from Libya to Italy or Malta. Others drowned trying to reach Spain from West Africa via the Canary Islands.
The IOM calls on EU Member States and concerned non-EU countries to take ‘urgent and proactive’ measures to reduce the number of deaths on these migration routes, as well as to fulfill their obligations under international law. IOM Director-General António Vitorino said in a statement. He suggests that the number of search and rescue operations will be further scaled up, partly because significantly more people seem to be venturing across to Europe this year. The number of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe has increased by 58 percent between January and June this year compared to the same period last year.