Mediterranean Migrant Deaths in 2015 Pass 2,000

Mediterranean Migrant Deaths in 2015 Pass 2,000Mediterranean Migrant Deaths in 2015 Pass 2,000

More than 2,000 people have died so far this year trying to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe, making it the world’s most dangerous migrant route, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, we have now reached a milestone whereby over 2,000 migrants and refugees have died as of this past weekend,” IOM spokesman Itayi Virri told reporters in Geneva, AFP reported.

The organization said around 188,000 people had been rescued so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean and warned the 200,000-mark could be crossed by the end of the week.

IOM said the latest toll confirms “this route as the deadliest for migrants in search of a better life,” and warned the situation was worsening.

During the same period last year, 1,607 migrants had perished trying to make the journey, with 3,279 dying in all of 2014.

Nearly all of the people flooding across the Mediterranean so far this year, often in rickety boats and at the mercy of human traffickers have landed in Italy (97,000) and Greece (90,500), the IOM said.

Virri said the so-called central Mediterranean route had proved by far the deadliest, with just over 1,930 people dying trying to cross from Libya to Italy so far this year, while only about 60 had died trying to reach Greece.

IOM said traffickers taking people to Italy tended to use more unseaworthy vessels, leading to the higher death toll.