Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 8,154 migrants and refugees entered Europe bysea through the first six weeks of 2018. This compares with 12,358 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.
On Monday (12 February) IOM Rome reported Italy’s official Ministry of Interior figures indicate some 4,731 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, which represents a steep decline compared to the 9,448 arrivals recorded during the same period last year.
After tracking January arrivals similar to those of 2017 and 2016 (see chart, below) through the first week of February, Italian authorities have recorded just 549 arrivals in February 2018, considerable fewer than came in during the same months of earlier years.
IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the four days (7-10 February), the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the island of Lesvos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 74 migrants and transferred them to those islands.
Namia reported that during this period a total of 156 irregular migrants arrived in Greece. These landings bring to 1,729 since January 1, for an average of just over 42 persons per day.
IOM Libya’s maritime update for January also has details of the rescues, in which nearly 200 children were returned to shore.
IOM Libya this week also reported 2,178 migrants returned by IOM from Libya to their home countries. Returnees this past week went to four countries – Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and the Comoros – bringing to 8,042 the number of returnees since 28 November 2017, when IOM began its scale up flights from Libya.
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 1,683 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 11 February.
She also shared the following data from Spain’s Ministry of Interior for Sea Arrivals since 2015:
Since the start of December, the Western Mediterranean has recorded over 100 deaths at sea. Total deaths in the Mediterranean in 2018 now stand at 401 migrants since the start of 2018, compared with 261 at this time last year. The Western Mediterranean already has recorded 86 deaths in just 42 days this year—nearly three times the total at this time on that route last year.
Over the past five days, 11 migrants died in different incidents in the Western Mediterranean. On 9 February, Spain’s maritime rescue service rescued 82 people and recovered three bodies from two boats during an operation southeast of Alborán Island. The survivors, including eight women, were taken with the remains of the three deceased to the port of Almería.
On 11 February, Salvamento Marítimo rescued 29 migrants, including a pregnant woman, from a sinking boat off Cabo Tres Forcas in Nador, Morocco. According to the testimonies of survivors – who were brought to the port of Motril (Granada) – five people went missing during the voyage. Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras reported on 12 February that an 11-year-old girl drowned in the Gibraltar Strait while attempting to reach Spain. Additionally, two bodies have been found off the coast of Mostaganem in Algeria over the past few days.
MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here
IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday that over the days 25-27 January, the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos. The Coast Guard rescued 113 migrants.
Over 200 migrants entered Greece by sea over last Friday and Saturday; however, overall arrivals this year continue a trend that began in 2017, when migrant arrivals along the Mediterranean Sea’s Eastern routes hit their lowest levels in four years. The 1,089 arrivals to Greece this year through 27 days are similar to the totals that were witnessed a year ago – but remain in sharp contrast with arrivals from the year before that, when a total of 67,415 arrived in a single month (see chart below).
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.
Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/120118_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
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