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Migrants by sea. Fewer arrivals in Italy and Spain, more in Greece in 2019

(B2) 110.669 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2019. A figure down 5% compared to 2018, when 116.273 were recorded. We thus find ourselves at 10% of the peak of 2015, where the figure exceeded one million arrivals, according to the latest balance sheet drawn up by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on January 3. This route remains the deadliest in the world for migrants

Halving in Italy and Spain, doubling in Greece

The fall is dizzying in Italy – where only 11.471 people arrived compared to 23.370 in 2018 – and in Spain – where there were 25.731 arrivals compared to 58.525 the previous year. On the other hand, on the eastern route, facing Turkey, the figures double: 62.445 arrivals in Greece compared to 32.742 in 2018. 7647 arrivals in Cyprus compared to 4307 in 2018.

A number of deaths in decline, in appearance

At least 1283 people died during their crossing of the Mediterranean, 44% fewer than in 2018 (2299). But this figure is only a minimum. It does not take into account the numerous 'ghost boats' that disappeared in the Mediterranean in 2019. Estimates put the number of those who die trying to cross the central Mediterranean at one in 33. This ratio was one to 35 in 2018, one to 51 in 2017. The central Mediterranean remains the deadliest corridor in the world for people seeking asylum.

Ghost Ship Alert

« Hundreds of lives were lost without a trace » specifies the international organization. No migrants having been rescued at sea at the time of the distress calls. And " their deaths may never be fully verified ". At least 413 people have disappeared at sea. These 'ghost' ships are " have become increasingly frequent since the presence of European and non-governmental search and rescue actors decreased in mid-2017 ».

(ES and NGV)

Emmanuelle Stroesser

A journalist for magazines and the press, Emmanuelle specializes in humanitarian issues, development, asylum and migration and human rights.

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