IOM’s Missing Migrants Project: death toll to pass 3,000 in 2014!
William Lacy Swing, Director General IOM, stresses that already in 2014 over 2,200 migrants have died attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. That’s three times 2013’s total!
The Malta shipwreck (the date of which remains unknown)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported news of up to 500 seaborne migrants being tossed to their doom near Malta — deliberately, according to eyewitness accounts. A week later, only 11 survivors have been found. The search for victims’ remains and the anguish of relatives who believe their family members were lost on the voyage has led to a steady stream of calls to IOM offices throughout the region, as well as IOM’s headquarters in Geneva. Investigations are proceeding in three countries: the IOM is assisting Italy, Greece and Malta in separate investigations
IOM's Missing Migrants projects
Besides the Malta shipwreck, at least four more fatal mishaps added to this month’s death toll. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, an effort to count everyone killed annually during “irregular” journeys, calculates that already in 2014 over 2,200 migrants have died attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. That’s three times 2013’s total. In the coming weeks IOM now expects the death toll to pass 3,000 — with a quarter of the year remaining.
EU Commission response
Commissioner Malmström welcomed IOM investigation on tragedies at sea and called for more efforts to fight smuggler networks. She explained that the European Commission is already working on an EU Plan to tackle migrant smuggling. The Plan will focus on enhanced political dialogue and practical cooperation with priority third countries as well as on improving operational cooperation and intelligence sharing between Member States, the relevant EU Agencies (Europol, FRONTEX and European Asylum Support Office) and concerned third countries. She finally added that Member States had to create more legal ways to Europe, such as accepting more resettled refugees."
Please read the press release from 16 September 2014 for additional information.