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United Nations reports that 2023 marked the most fatal year for migrants in the past ten years

In 2023, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that at least 8,565 individuals lost their lives on global migration routes, marking it as the deadliest year since records were initiated a decade ago

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In 2023, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that at least 8,565 individuals lost their lives on global migration routes, marking it as the deadliest year since records were initiated a decade ago. The 2023 death toll reflected a tragic surge of 20 percent compared to 2022, underscoring the critical need for measures to avert further loss of life, as emphasized in the IOM’s statement. Last year’s total surpassed the previous record set in 2016, when 8,084 people perished during migration.

The IOM highlighted that due to the limited availability of safe and regular migration pathways, hundreds of thousands of individuals annually attempt migration through irregular routes under unsafe conditions. The Mediterranean ocean crossing remained the most perilous route, accounting for at least 3,129 deaths and disappearances in the past year.

Of the total migrant deaths in 2023, just over half resulted from drowning, nine percent from vehicle accidents, and seven percent from violence. The IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, established in 2014, serves as an open-access database documenting migrant deaths and disappearances, with over 63,000 cases worldwide. However, the actual figure is likely much higher due to challenges in data collection, particularly in remote areas.

Ugochi Daniels, the IOM deputy director-general, reflected on the 10-year milestone of the Missing Migrants Project, remembering the lives lost as profound human tragedies. She emphasized the need to recommit to comprehensive actions that ensure safe migration for all, envisioning a future where people do not have to jeopardize their lives in pursuit of a better existence.

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