Four Decades of Cross-Mediterranean Undocumented Migration to Europe

The Mediterranean border to Europe is amongst the world's deadliest crossings. In the period between 2000 and 2017, 33,761 migrants were reported to have died or gone missing during their Mediterranean journey. The highest rate of deaths occurred in 2016, in junction with the European Union-Turkey deal to halt the route between Turkey and Greece.

Research shows a negative correlation between the number of crossings and the probability of dying: a larger number of crossings correlate to a lower likelihood of death. The current policy of stopping migration, and the prevailing rhetoric of wanting to save lives, run counter to each other. When blocking the short and less dangerous pathways, such as the one between Turkey and Greece, it forces migrants and refugees to resort to longer and more dangerous routes, hence also increase the likelihood of death for fleeing migrants.

This report by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) undertakes a systematic review of all available data on trans-Mediterranean irregular migration to Europe since 1970. It focuses on the magnitude of flows, the evolution of new sea routes, the characteristics of migrants, the muddled difference between forced and economic migration, and mortality at sea. Furthermore, it investigates the causes behind the unprecedented number of undocumented migrants between 2014-2017, and the causes behind the subsequent decline in 2017.

Published 2017-12-13

Document Information

Publication year
2017
Author(s)
Fargues, Philippe
Format
pdf, 46p.
Rights
© 2017 International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Our thematic areas
Child Protection
Keywords
Migration

Related Documents

Document Information

Publication year
2017
Author(s)
Fargues, Philippe
Format
pdf, 46p.
Rights
© 2017 International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Our thematic areas
Child Protection
Keywords
Migration