Eight migrants die every day trying to reach richer countries, study reveals
LONDON. KAZINFORM Migrants trying to reach more prosperous countries have died at a rate of eight every day for the past 14 years, the majority of them trying to get to Europe, according to the most comprehensive ever tally of migrant deaths.
Almost 40,000 people have died on migrant routes worldwide, according to estimates by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which added that 22,000 of them perished trying to get to Europe, the Guardian reports.
An estimated 4,077 died this year alone, suggesting a sharply escalating problem.
According to the IOM, the true number of fatalities is likely to be even higher than the figures in its report.
The research was undertaken by the IOM over six months for its report Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration, published on Monday. It called on governments and the international community to address what it described as "an epidemic of crime and victimisation".
"Our message is blunt: migrants are dying who need not," said the IOM's director general, William Lacy Swing. "It is time to do more than count the number of victims. It is time to engage the world to stop this violence against desperate migrants."
The disproportionately high death toll in the Mediterranean, the report concludes, "reflects a dramatic increase in the number of migrants trying to reach Europe", with more than 112,000 irregular migrants detected by Italian authorities in 2014 - almost three times as many as in 2013.
IOM research records that since 2000, nearly 6,000 more migrant deaths occurred along the US-Mexico border and a further 3,000 deaths from Africa's Sahara desert and the Indian Ocean.
The research behind Fatal Journeys, which runs to more than 200 pages, began with the October 2013 tragedy when more than 400 migrants died in two shipwrecks near the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The report paints a picture characterised too often by international indifference, even over the collection and distribution of the raw data on migrant deaths.
"Although vast sums of money are spent collecting migration and border control data, very few agencies collect and publish data on migrant deaths," said Frank Laczko, the author of Fatal Journeys, and IOM's director of migrant research division.