UN Report: 2023 Recorded Highest Migrant Death Toll in a Decade

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In a sobering revelation, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) declared 2023 as the deadliest year for migrants in the past decade, with at least 8,565 recorded deaths on migration routes worldwide. This grim statistic marks a tragic 20% increase compared to the previous year, underscoring the urgent imperative for intervention to avert further loss of life, as stated by the IOM in a released statement.

The report emphasized the persistent challenge of limited safe and regular migration pathways, compelling hundreds of thousands of individuals to undertake perilous journeys via irregular routes each year. Among these routes, the Mediterranean Ocean crossing emerged as the most treacherous, accounting for at least 3,129 deaths and disappearances in 2023.

Notably, drowning constituted slightly over half of the total migrant deaths, with nine percent attributed to vehicle accidents and seven percent to acts of violence. The IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, initiated in 2014 as an accessible database on migrant fatalities and disappearances, has cataloged over 63,000 cases globally. However, the actual figure is believed to be significantly higher due to challenges in data collection, particularly in remote areas.

Reflecting on the project’s 10-year milestone, IOM Deputy Director-General Ugochi Daniels expressed solemn remembrance for the lives lost, emphasizing the profound human tragedy that resonates within affected families and communities for years to come.

The report serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address the root causes of migrant fatalities and enhance safety and protection for vulnerable individuals undertaking perilous journeys in search of a better life

Soukaina Sghir

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