UN refugee company says ‘no finish in sight’ to the lives misplaced in Mediterranean and on land routes to sea departure factors.
Greater than 2,500 folks have died or gone lacking whereas trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe up to now this yr, the UN refugee company mentioned, whereas roughly 186,000 folks have arrived in European international locations throughout the identical interval.
Ruven Menikdiwela, director of the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) workplace in New York, told the UN Security Council on Thursday that of the 186,000 who had crossed the Mediterranean, 83 p.c – some 130,000 folks – landed in Italy. Different international locations the place individuals who had crossed the Mediterranean had landed included Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta.
The variety of those that died or went lacking through the harmful sea crossing has surged this yr in contrast with final yr, the Safety Council was informed.
“By September 24, over 2,500 folks had been accounted as lifeless or lacking in 2023 alone,” Menikdiwela mentioned. That quantity marked a big enhance over the 1,680 who died or went lacking in the identical interval in 2022.
Menikdiwela mentioned the UN refugee company noticed “no finish in sight” to the lives misplaced at sea and on land routes to Europe, that are equally harmful.
The UNHCR official informed the council how the land journey from sub-Saharan African international locations to sea crossing departure points on the Tunisian and Libyan coasts “stays one of many world’s most harmful”.
“Lives are additionally misplaced on land, away from public consideration,” Menikdiwela mentioned.
The migrants and refugees “threat demise and gross human rights violations at each step”, she mentioned.
Greater than 102,000 folks tried to cross the Mediterranean from Tunisia, a 260 p.c enhance from final yr, and greater than 45,000 had tried to cross from Libya, Menikdiwela mentioned.
The UNHCR figures had been much like these offered by Par Liljert, director of the Worldwide Workplace for Migration (IOM).
“Latest IOM knowledge demonstrates that from January to September 2023, greater than 187,000 people crossed the Mediterranean in pursuit of a greater future and the promise of security,” Liljert informed the Safety Council.
“Tragically, throughout this similar interval, IOM recorded 2,778 deaths, with 2,093 of them occurring alongside the treacherous central Mediterranean route,” he mentioned, referring to the most dangerous sea crossing.
“But, regardless of its clear risks, in 2023, there was a rise in arrivals to Greece alongside this route of over 300 p.c, whereas the variety of arrivals in Spain has remained regular, primarily by means of the Atlantic path to the Canary Islands as in comparison with the numbers recorded on the similar time final yr,” he mentioned.
IOM additionally witnessed a major enhance in arrivals to Italy, with 130,000 up to now this yr in contrast with some 70,000 in 2022.