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Migrant deaths soar as conflict forces more to flee - Report

Members of Spanish Civil Guard look for bodies of drowned migrants near the village of Canos de Meca in southern Spain, Tuesday, Nov. 6 2018   -  
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AP Photo/Javier Fergo, File


The new IOM report reveals alarming trends in migrant deaths and disappearances over the past decade.

Since tracking began in 2014, more than 63,000 people have died or are missing and presumed dead, according to the Missing Migrants Project, with 2023 the deadliest year yet when over 8,500 deaths were recorded

One in three migrant deaths occurs en route while fleeing conflict

Jorge Galindo, spokesperson at IOM's Global Data Institute:

"The figures are quite alarming. We see that ten years on, people continue to lose their lives in search of a better one. We saw, for example, that 2023 was the deadliest year on record with over 8500 deaths. And the reasons are multiple. The majority of people, over 60% of deaths recorded by the project are due to drowning. Just in the Mediterranean alone, we see, over 28,000 deaths and disappearances recorded."

Among the report’s key findings is the high number of unidentified deaths. More than two-thirds of migrants whose deaths were documented remain unidentified

The report emphasizes the necessity of enhancing search and rescue

Despite political commitments and media attention, migrant deaths are on the rise

IOM calls for better coordinated data collection and identification processes to provide closure to affected families.

Today, the Missing Migrants Project remains the only global open-access database on migrant deaths and disappearances, compiling information from wide-ranging sources including key informants from governments, UN officials, and civil society organizations.