UN: Risky sea crossings fuel sharp rise in migrant deaths

March 17, 2017 - 6:25 am

BERLIN (AP) — A U.N. agency says migrant deaths rose sharply last year, particularly in the Mediterranean, as smugglers made ever-riskier attempts to ferry asylum seekers and refugees on increasingly unseaworthy vessels.

The International Organization for Migration documented 7,763 migrant deaths in 2016 worldwide, 27 percent more than the 6,107 recorded in 2015.

The report released Friday said two-thirds of the deaths took place in the Mediterranean, where 5,098 people lost their lives trying to make the trip from North Africa, Turkey and the Middle East to Europe, according to information collected by the IOM's Data Analysis Center in Berlin.

The number of Mediterranean casualties last year was 35 percent higher than in 2015, despite more organized rescue efforts and fewer people trying to make the perilous journey.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()