2014: The deadliest year for migrants!

ship_migrantsUN data shows more migrants died this year than in the last three years added together crossing the Mediterranean Sea as the International Organisation for Migration says 2014 was the deadliest year for migrants.

2014 is the deadliest year for migrants, according to the International Organisation for Migration, with 4,868 people killed in the pursuit of a better life compared to 2,400 deaths in 2013.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) data shows in 2014, 3,400 individuals died or went missing in the Mediterranean Sea compared to 1,500, 500 and more than 600 in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The UNHCR said “at least 348,000″ have risked their life crossing seas fleeing violence, persecution and poverty since January.

Usually the figures are driven by migration but the UNHCR said “in 2014 the number of asylum seekers involved has grown”.

Since the start of the year, 207,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean, which the UN notes, is “almost three times the previous known high of 70,000 in 2011 when the Libyan civil war was in full swing”.

The UNHCR also said it was the first time “people from refugee producing countries (mainly Syria and Eritrea) have in 2014 become a major component in this tragic flow, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the total”.

According to the UNHCR, Europe is seeing the largest number of sea arrivals mainly due to conflicts in Libya, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq.

UNHCR says the rapid rise in arrivals is linked to the rise in “forced displacement” of more than 51m people.

It is not just the Mediterranean Sea where migrants risk their lives, the UN notes three other major sea routes and how many individuals have used the crossings in 2014.

In the Horn of Africa region 82,680 people crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea between January 1 and the end of November en route mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia to Yemen or onwards to Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Persian Gulf.

In south east Asia, it is estimated that 54,000 people have undertaken sea crossings so far in 2014, most of them departing from Bangladesh or Myanmar and heading to Thailand, Malaysia, or Indonesia.

In the Caribbean, at least 4,775 people are known to have taken to boats between January 1 and December 1 this year, hoping to flee poverty or in search of asylum.”

The Telegraph

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