Death rate on the Mediterranean migrant route continues to rise in 2018

The Mediterranean migrant route is now more dangerous than in years prior, with one dead or missing with every 44 arrivals. The death rate is highest on the Central Mediterranean route to Italy, with one dead of missing with every 18 arrivals.

Over 68,000 migrants have now attempted to cross the Mediterranean into Europe in 2018 alone, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This compares with 124,015 (172,362 for the entire year) arrivals across the region through the same period last year. However, the number also indicates large numbers are continuing to risk their lives to reach Europe irregularly.

Spain is now the leading destination for irregular migrants, receiving nearly 29,000 people this year, twice that of Greece and six times more than Italy and Libya remains the main destination for departure.

For the irregular migrants from West Africa making Spain their destination for arrival in Europe, the route remains a dangerous one, with risks from the country of origin, through transit and destination countries.

Recently, a group of 79 migrants making their way to Spain were recently rescued in the sea off of Banjul in The Gambia. Fifty-eight were Senegalese nationals while the remaining 21 were Gambians, according to a spokesperson from the Gambia Immigration Department. Seven of the migrants had reportedly drowned before rescuers from the Gambian Navy arrived.

Those who were rescued were later held at the Migration Centre in Tanji, while Gambian authorities launched a search to track down the smugglers. Senegalese authorities have been informed about their citizens who are now under Gambian custody.

TMP – 17/09/2018

Photo caption: Settimo Torinese, Italy – July 2015: Red Cross reception center is temporary hub for refugees arriving in Italy