8,565 deaths make 2023 deadliest year for migrants in a decade – UN

Sunday, March 10, 2024
 – At least 8,565 people died on migration routes worldwide in 2023, making it the deadliest year since records began a decade ago, the UN has said.

The 2023 death toll represents a tragic increase of 20 percent compared to 2022, highlighting the urgent need for action to prevent further loss of life,” the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday, March 6.

The 2023 total surpassed the previous record reached in 2016 when 8,084 people died during migration.

The IOM stated that because safe and regular migration pathways remain limited, hundreds of thousands of people attempt to migrate every year via irregular routes in unsafe conditions.

The IOM said the Mediterranean Ocean crossing continues to be the deadliest route for migrants in the world, with at least 3,129 deaths and disappearances registered in 2023 alone.

Slightly more than half of the total migrant deaths in 2023 came as a result of drowning, with nine percent caused by vehicle accidents, and seven percent by violence.

“As we mark the Missing Migrants Project’s 10 years, we first remember all these lives lost,” said IOM Deputy Director-General Ugochi Daniels.

“Every single one of them is a terrible human tragedy that reverberates through families and communities for years to come.

“These horrifying figures collected by the Missing Migrants Project are also a reminder that we must recommit to greater action that can ensure safe migration for all, so that 10 years from now, people won't have to risk their lives in search of a better one.”

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