More than 500 migrants die at sea during 2017

TMP – 31/03/2017

The number of migrants that have died in the Mediterranean during the first ten weeks of this year has exceeded the number recorded in the same period in 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has disclosed.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported that the number of Mediterranean deaths from the start of the year to 14 March 2017 has so far reached 525.

The report shows that as of 14 March, 19,653 migrants entered Europe by sea this year over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. Although the number of arrivals this year is lower compared to the same figure in 2016, the death toll exceeded the total of 482 reported during the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, the number of people making the dangerous crossing from Libya to Italy has doubled according to the report. A total of 13,439 migrants departing from Libya have arrived in Italy, which is twice the number of arrivals recorded during the same period last year.

IOM Libya also said that there are continuous reports of violence against migrants across Libya’s coastal region. On 11 March a body was retrieved in Subratah, bringing the total number of bodies recovered off Libya’s coast to 148 since 1 January.