3,573 migrants perish in Mediterranean crossings over last 365 days: IOM

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-8-25 22:51:49

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicated on Tuesday that 3,573 migrants have lost their lives while attempting to reach Italy, Greece and Spain since last August.

Representing just under 10 fatalities per day over the last 365 days, statistics show that the flow of migrants seeking to reach European shores is continuing to rise, with as many as 267,121 maritime migrant arrivals being reported so far in 2015.

IOM indicated that Greece (157,228 migrant arrivals to date) is by far the top destination for populations seeking to escape conflicts and prosecution in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Italy also records high arrival rates this year with 107,633 migrants originating from Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Syria reaching Italian shores, while both Spain (2,166) and Malta (94) add to total arrivals in Europe.

"Migration flows to Italy are mixed: there are asylum seekers, as well as vulnerable migrants such as women victims of trafficking and unaccompanied minors, and also a large proportion of job-seeking migrants," said Federico Soda, director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.

While the "death toll changes almost hourly" according to IOM spokesperson Joel Millman, Mediterranean crossings have claimed the lives of 2,373 migrants so far this year, compared to 2,081 over the same period last year.

Posted in: Europe

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