Europe and Central Asia / Switzerland
Humanitarian Emergencies, Missing Migrants, Refugee and Asylum Issues
Switzerland - IOM reports that 20,484 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 19 March, with over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 160,331 through the first 79 days of 2016.
These arrival numbers do not include 3,312 migrants rescued on 19 March and who are being brought to Italy over the next few days, according to updates from Italy’s Ministry of Interior. Those new arrivals would push this year’s Mediterranean arrival numbers to slightly under 20,000 for Italy alone. That puts 2017’s arrival rate to Italy considerably ahead of the 2015’s first three-month total of 10,165, and ahead of the 2016 three-month total of 18,777 (see chart below).
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports 525 Mediterranean deaths, short of the 553 reported during the same period in 2016. Migrants from a landing in Lampedusa reported Monday (20/03) that perhaps 10 people went missing but information is still unclear – other witnesses said three went missing. These additional fatalities are not included in today’s figures. IOM Italy on-field staffers are still investigating. This year at least 481 migrants or refugees have drowned or gone missing on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy. Last year at this time, 159 migrants had been lost on this route.
These fatalities data do not include new information from IOM Libya, which is seeking to verify reports of several incidents that have occurred along the Libyan coast since Friday. Christine Petré of IOM Libya reported late Monday that since 19 March, four rescue missions have been conducted off the Libyan west coast, saving a total of 758 migrants.
She said that on 19 March, 215 migrants including 47 women were rescued off Zuwara from two rubber boats, a rescue that brought reports of three dead bodies and victims of burn injuries from spilled fuel. The rescue operation was carried out by the Libyan Coast Guard.
Those Zuwara victims were taken to a reception facility recently established by IOM with Dutch funding. IOM also worked with the Libyan Red Crescent (LRC) to provide food to the rescued migrants. IOM also distributed hygiene kits and winter blankets.
On 19 March, 223 migrants – 57 of them women (two of whom were pregnant) – sailing in two rubber boats were rescued off Tripoli. The migrants are currently at Triq Al Sekka detention centre. Seventeen migrants had chemical burns and two of the burn cases required hospital admission.
On 20 March, about 120 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah. The migrants were taken to Shuhada Al Nasr detention centre. The rescue operation was carried out by the Libyan Coast Guard.
On 20 March, some 200 migrants were also rescued off Az Zawiyah, including seven women and two children. There were reports of 10 bodies retrieved – one was a woman.
So far in 2017 IOM Libya reports 3,403 rescues at sea, with remains of 161 victims recovered.
Worldwide, Missing Migrants reports fatalities on this date top 1,000 (1,018, see chart, below), with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over half of the global total.
Missing Migrants has recorded this year, 64 in the Horn of Africa region, including 42 Somalis killed last week (17 March) off Hodeidah, Yemen, and two migrants shot in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen on 19 March. Last year to this date, Missing Migrants reported 87 killed in the Horn of Africa region.
IOM Yemen reported over the weekend that thus far a total of 104 survivors have been rescued from Friday’s tragedy near Hodeidah, out of which 13 critical cases were referred to hospitals in Hodeidah. The remaining 91 survivors with minor injuries, trauma and shock were placed in Hodeidah Detention Center, where irregular migrants are being kept for entering the country illegally.
The rescue operation mainly used fishing boats to collect the remains of 42 victims, some of which were placed in a limited capacity mortuary in Hodeidah while the remaining were kept in a fish cooler in Hodeidah fish market. The search for missing victims is ongoing.
“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has responded to this tragic incident by providing lifesaving assistance to survivors at both Hodeidah Detention Centre and hospitals where the critical cases are being treated,” said Laurent De Boeck, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. “IOM provided food and non-food items, medical and psychosocial assistance and WASH services. Additionally, IOM medical teams are closely following up the referred cases, facilitating examination, diagnostics and treatment process including surgeries which will be entirely covered by IOM,” he added.
IOM is providing lifesaving assistance including food and non-food items, medical and psychosocial and WASH services to migrants held in detention centres in Yemen while they are being processed for voluntary return. IOM assistance is also extended to detained asylum seekers and vulnerable Yemeni prisoners.
Additionally, IOM established and is managing two Migrants Response Point (MRP) sites in Hodeidah and Aden, where the most vulnerable migrants including elderly, unaccompanied minors and separated children are being assisted. The establishment of additional MRPs in Hodeidah, Sana’a and Aden is in process.
For the latest Mediterranean update infographic:
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int