Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 87,315 in 2019; Deaths Reach 1.087

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 87,315 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 30 October, a 12% decrease from the 99,122 arriving during the same period last year. Over half all arrivals this year (47,015) have landed in Greece, while another one-fourth (22,247) have landed in Spain, with the balance arriving in much smaller proportions to Italy, Malta and Cyprus.

Mediterranean Developments

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost ten months of 2019 are at 1,087 individuals—or about 53% of the 2,044 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project documented several deaths on routes across the Mediterranean in recent days. In the Eastern Mediterranean, a 16-year-old Afghan teenager lost his live during the crossing from Küçükkuyu, Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos on 28 October. His remains were recovered by the Turkish Coast Guard, which also rescued 40 survivors and returned them to Turkish shores.

Thirty-seven per cent of those who died in 2019 in the Eastern Mediterranean were children, with 27 child migrant deaths documented on this route.

In the Western Mediterranean, the remains of an unidentified man were recovered from the sea off the coast of Cartagena, Murcia on Sunday, 27 October, a day in which Spanish rescue services rescued 140 people from several boats in waters near Murcia and Alicante. These boats reportedly had departed from the western coast of Algeria. In 2019, the deaths of 62 people have been recorded in the sea crossing between Algeria and Spain.

Another 166 people have lost their lives on the sea crossing across the Alborá n Sea between Nador and Andalucía, while 52 deaths have been documented on the crossing via the Strait of Gibraltar. This year, IOM has documented 53 deaths on the more dangerous route from the western coast of Morocco across the Atlantic Ocean to the coasts of Cádiz.

Five people were reported lost on another frequently used migration route to Spain, the sea crossing from the north-western coast of Africa to the Canary Islands (the “Western Africa route”).

On 29 October, an oil tanker rescued 29 people from a cayuco 607km south of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, as well as the remains of four people. According to survivors’ testimonies, a fifth person went missing at sea. Survivors reported being adrift at sea for more than 15 days, with little food or water. Many were severely dehydrated when rescued and needed emergency medical assistance. Four people were evacuated to hospitals upon arriving to the Port of Las Palmas.

In 2019, 82 people have reportedly lost their lives on this route, nearly double the 43 deaths documented in all of 2018.

In the streets of Nador, Morocco, a 13-year-old Moroccan boy was severely injured when attempting to cling to the undercarriage of a truck bound for Melilla, Spain on 26 October. Tragically, he didn’t survive his injuries and passed away before arriving at a hospital.

He is one of the 180 children whose deaths have been documented by the Missing Migrants Project in 2019.

IOM Italy

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo cited official Ministry of Interior figures of 9,648 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea this year through 30 October, compared to 22,167 at this same time in 2018. IOM Libya has reported that through 15 October over, 7.300 migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in 2019.

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday sea arrivals to Spain, through 30 October have reached 22.247, compared to 47,505 at this time last year. While monthly arrivals to Spain are lower this year overall, fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route remain high—with 324 deaths reported through six months of this year, compared to 621 at this time in 2018.

IOM Greece

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday (31/10) that from Friday (25/10) up to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) participated in at least twenty two incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Chios, Lesvos, Leros, Samos, Kos, Farmakonisi, Pserimos and the port of Alexandroupoli. The HCG rescued a total of 739 migrants and transferred them to the respective ports.

Those arrivals, plus others between 23 and 29 October, bring to 47,015 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year.

Full Report at https://www.iom.int/news/mediterranean-migrant-arrivals-reach-87315-2019-deaths-reach-1087