More migrants enter Europe via sea in 2020 than in 2019
A total of 14,854 irregular migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea between January and mid-March 2020, marking an increase of almost 50 per cent compared to the 10,771 Mediterranean arrivals recorded the same time last year.
The eastern Mediterranean route which connects Africa and the Middle East to Greece has seen more than 7,000 entries in 2020 compared to about 4,500 entries in the same period in 2019. More than 2,700 sea arrivals have been recorded in Italy this year, a high increase from the 398 arrivals during this time in 2019. Malta has also witnessed a high inflow of migrants and refugees of up to 1,135 compared to 136 at the same time in 2019. However, arrivals to Spain via the Western Mediterranean route have dropped from 5,491 in 2019 to 3,803 this year.
About 219 deaths have been recorded on the three main Mediterranean sea routes between 1 January and 18 March, down from 299 deaths same time in 2019. The Central Mediterranean route accounts for more than 50 per cent of the fatalities recorded so far in 2020.
Since 2014, thousands of irregular migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have used the Mediterranean sea as a major entry of point to Europe. More than 20,000 migrants have died since 2014 while attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. At least 92 people lost their lives in January in a failed attempt to reach on small boats via the Mediterranean sea.
Photo credit: Shutterstock/Stefano Garau
Photo caption: Cagliari, Italy 06/10/2016; the ship “Rio Segura” arrives at the port of Cagliari with 1250 migrants recovered from the Mediterranean Sea.