Posted on November 07, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
At least 17 migrants have died in the last 24 hours, while attempting to cross from Morocco to Spain.
The Spanish coastguard located two rafts in the Western Mediterranean with 80 people on board and 13 dead.
Another four bodies were found in Southwest Spain, near the province of Cadiz, when the dinghy they were travelling in crashed into rocks. However, the coastguard managed to successfully save 22 survivors from the accident.
These deaths come in the wake of a report published by the Spanish Ministry of Interior and the International Organization for Migration (IOM ), revealing that almost 600 people have lost their lives during the first 10 months of 2018, while attempting the perilous journey from North Africa to Spain.
Spain has now become the main entry point for undocumented Middle Eastern and African refugees trying to get into Europe.
According to the same report, nearly 50,000 refugees have attempted to reach Spain on dinghies and rafts in 2018 alone.
Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s data analysis centre, has expressed apprehension over the report, “What’s concerning is that we’ve seen a consistent increase in the number of migrant deaths recorded in the Western Mediterranean each year since IOM began keeping track. These numbers, however, tell only a partial story of the tragedy unfolding in the Western Mediterranean. For each person lost at sea, families are left wondering if their loved one is dead or alive.”
In the last year, there have been over 100,000 refugee arrivals through the Mediterranean, with over 2,000 of those, missing or presumed dead.
Stark as the figure may be, the numbers are down when comparing it to the same time period in 2017, where you had almost 150,000 crossings and over 3,000 deaths.