Migrants landing on the southern coasts of Spain, April 2018. The number of departures from West Africa to the Canary Islands has significantly increased in recent years, according to the IOM. Senegal is one of the top nationalities of arrivals/ Photo Credit: Spanish Red Cross

1,741 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean so far in 2018, says UN agency

The Organization for Migration (IOM) has released new statistics on migrant crossings to Europe via the Atlantic Ocean. So far, 1,741 people have died trying to make it to Europe through the Mediterranean.

The UN agency said that a total of 82,100 migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea in 2018 as of September 30. Spain saw the largest number of arrivals – 36,654 people landed there.

The total number of arrivals by sea decreased. In the same period last year, 136,313 arrivals were registered, and there were 304,933 arrivals over the same period in 2016.

IOM said that the number of people reported dead after they tried to cross the Mediterranean remains high with 1,741 victims so far this year. However, the death toll is lower than at this point last year (2,676) and 2016 (3,602).

Data from Spain, Italy, Greece

Spain, with nearly 45% of all registered arrivals this year, has receiving twice as many migrants by sea in September compared to Greece and seven times more than Italy.

IOM reported that data provided by the Spanish interior ministry indicated that a total of 41,474 migrants reached Spain, including 36,654 who were registered as arrivals by sea and at least 4,820 who crossed into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which are located on north-eastern coast of Morocco. Compared to the same period last year, arrivals by sea went up 196 percent in Spain.

Italy meanwhile recorded the lowest number of arrivals in almost five years – with 21,041 people who reached the country by sea so far. A reported 964 migrants reached the country by sea in September. It was the first time in over four years during which less than 1,000 migrants or refugees landed in Italy in a month, according to the report.

The UN agency also said Greece recorded 23,240 arrivals by sea in 2018 as of September 30.

Over 12,000 voluntary repatriations from Libya in 2018

The IOM office in Libya reported that a total of 12,544 migrants were repatriated this year as part of the program of voluntary humanitarian returns, including 172 who left Libya last week. Since January 1, 2017, IOM has repatriated 31,915 people thanks to the program, using regular flights or charter planes. The four top countries of return are Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Guinea.



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