Quoting the results from a new study related to the reviewing of four decades of evidence for the security of borders, the UN migration agency, IOM, said that Europe’s Mediterranean border is “by far the world’s deadliest”.
IOM spokesperson Jorge Galindo said that the Global Migration Data Analysis Center carried out the study that is titled Four Decades of Cross-Mediterranean Undocumented Migration to Europe: A Review of the Evidence.
“The report states that at least 33,761 migrants were reported to have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean between 2000 and 2017, as of June 30,” Galindo said.
Till November of 2017, the sea route was used for entry into Europe by 161,010 migrants, the IOM also reported on Friday. It further stated that of the lot, about three quarters of them arrived to Italy while the rest 25 percent was more or less equally distributed between the countries of Greece, Cyprus and Spain with respect to immigrant entry into each.
In comparison, there was a much larger influx of migrants to Europe through that route in the comparable period a year earlier when the number of arrivals was at 345,831.
The actual scale of the human tragedy that occurs to immigrants while attempting to reach Europe through that route have been grossly under-reported and the actual scale is much higher with respect to the number of deaths cited over the past 18 years, said Professor Philippe Fargues of the European University Institute, the study’s author, according to the IOM.
In 2017, there has been increased cooperation – first between the EU and Turkey, and then with Libya, to control the flow of migrants to Europe which has reportedly brought down the number of deaths of immigrants while travelling the dangerous route. But the report said that despite the reduction of deaths in 2017 as has been reported, the actual scale of devastation was much larger.
“Stopping migration and eradicating deaths at sea may [be] conflicting objectives. Shutting the shorter and less dangerous routes can open longer and more dangerous routes, thus increasing the likelihood of dying at sea,” Fargues states in the report.
The migration of people irregularly since the 1970s has been analyzed in the report. The creation and implementation of more restrictive migration policies by some of the countries in the EU has resulted in the increase in the incidents of irregular arrivals of migrants, the report highlighted.
In the 1970s, some of the European countries imposed visa requirements for temporary migrant labour coming to Europe from the regions of North Africa and Turkey and this resulted in irregular migration from these regions and this trend was cited as prime example in the report.
The report concluded that since 2009, the Eastern, Central and Western Mediterranean routes have been increasingly used by migrants to undertake the risky and illegal journey to enter Europe as the stricter immigration regulations that were imposed created a major absence of legal pathways especially for asylum-seekers and refugees who are travelling to Europe and seeking asylum there.
(Adapted from New.xinhuanet.com)