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Monday, May 20, 2024  
11 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Migration to EU by using deadliest route highest in seven years: report

More than 2,090 people have gone missing in Mediterranean this year, according to UN
AFP
AFP

The number of people using the central Mediterranean as a migratory route to reach European Union countries has more than doubled, shows data.

“The number of detections of irregular border crossings at EU’s external borders rose 13% in the first seven months of 2023 to 176 100, the highest total for the January-July period since 2016,” according to preliminary calculations by Europe’s border and coast guard agency.

Frontex said that the increase was entirely driven by the number of arrivals through the Central Mediterranean. The course, according to the agency, remains the main migratory route into the EU and accounts for more than half of all detections at EU borders. “The number of irregular crossings on this route more than doubled (+115%).”

But the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration data showed that so far in 2023 more than 2,090 people have died and gone missing in the Mediterranean.

Over 89,000 detections were reported by national authorities in the first seven months of 2023, said Frontex and described it as the highest total on this route for this period since 2017.

“Increased migratory pressure on this route may persist in the coming months with smugglers offering lower prices for migrants departing from Libya and Tunisia amid fierce competition among the criminal groups,” it warned.

In a boating incident last week, it was believed that 41 people died on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Four survivors said that three children were also included as passengers of the boat that departed from Sfax, Tunisia before six days.

In June, an overcrowded fishing trawler believed to have been carrying up to 750 people sunk in the international waters off Pylos on the west coast of Greece.

According to IOM data, more than 2,060 people went missing in the Mediterranean between January and July, with the vast majority on the Central Mediterranean route.

“The number of irregular crossings in the English Channel towards the UK in July stood at close to 5,500, bringing the total for the first seven months of 2023 to almost 27,300. This is roughly in line with the same period of last year,” showed data.

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