A decade of documenting more than 63,000 migrant deaths shows that fleeing is more lethal than ever

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A decade has passed since the launch of the Missing Migrants Project, which has documented more than 63,000 deaths around the world among people fleeing conflict, persecution or poverty at home

More than a decade ago, the death of 600 migrants and refugees in two Mediterranean shipwrecks near Italian shores shocked the world and prompted the U.N. migration agency to start recording the number of people who died or went missing as they fled conflict, persecution or poverty to other countries. Governments around the world have repeatedly pledged to save migrants' lives and fight smugglers while tightening borders.

Nearly 60% of the deaths recorded by the IOM in the last decade were related to drowning. The Mediterranean Sea is the world's largest migrant grave with more than 28,000 deaths recorded in the last decade. Thousands of drownings have also been recorded on the U.S.-Mexico border, in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of Aden and increasingly in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea where desperate Rohingya refugees are embarking on overcrowded boats.

 

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