Mediterranean migrant deaths in 2015 pass 2,000

Mediterranean migrant deaths in 2015 pass 2,000

“Unfortunately, we have now reached a milestone whereby over 2,000 migrants and refugees have died as of this past weekend,” Itayi Virri, a spokesman for the IOM, said on Tuesday.

Also in a statement, the organization said the number of deaths so far this year proves “this route as the deadliest” one for migrants seeking to reach Europe for a better life.

Meanwhile, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing said, “It is unacceptable that in the 21st century people fleeing from conflict, persecutions, misery and land degradation must endure such terrible experiences in their home countries, not to mention en route, and then die on Europe’s doorstep.”

Nearly half of the people who have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year have landed in Italy and the other half in Greece.

In its statement, the IOM said approximately 1,930 migrants trying to reach Italy, which has seen an inflow of around 97,000 migrants so far this year, have died.

The organization further noted that the route to Greece, with an inflow of 90,500 migrants so far this year and only about 60 deaths, is much safer than the one to Italy.

The IOM also said around 188,000 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean so far this year, adding that as many as 1,607 migrants died in the same period last year  (…)