Europe migrant arrivals less than half of last year

TMP – 15/11/2017

A new report by the UN migration agency (IOM) shows that the number of migrant arrivals in Europe via the Mediterranean has decreased by more than half when compared to the same period last year.

However, the number of deaths still remains high. More than 2,700 people have died between January and October this year while attempting to cross the Mediterranean. The majority of the deceased died while trying to cross the ocean from Libya to Italy.

At the end of October in Libya alone, the remains of a man of African origin were retrieved by locals close to Al Maya, west of Tripoli, on 19 October. On 21 October, the body of another man was found on the shores of Al Khums. The following day (22 October), the remains of seven additional victims were retrieved by the Libyan Red Crescent from the shores of Al Khums. Local fishermen reported that they had spotted the remains of other victims at sea.

Countries in east and west Africa are among the largest source countries of migrants, although for all countries fewer are arriving in Europe in 2017. For example, Eritrean arrivals to Italy have dropped by 75 percent in 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.

This decrease is in part due to an increasing number of migrants being intercepted in Libyan waters and returned to Libya.