A new report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has revealed that 1,159 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during the first 12 days of 2017, a marked decrease from 22,590 during the same period in 2016.
Of the total migrated refugees, 27 died during their journey through the Mediterranean Sea, including 14 found off Libya last week, whilst 64 died at sea from 1 to 12 January last year.
According to IOM, last year 22,322 migrants and refugees made their way to Greece’s islands from Turkey, whereas 430 migrants have travelled from Turkey to Greece from 1 to 12 January 2017.
In the first 12 days of January 2017, 729 migrants arrived in Italy from North Africa, compared with 268 during that timeframe in 2016.
International Organization for Migration Berlin missing migrants project representative Julia Black said: “This report is rather alarming.
“Bodies washing up in Libya is something we often see preceded by a large shipwreck in the Central Mediterranean.”
IOM reports also shows that of the 181,436 migrants arriving in Italy last year, the largest number came from Nigeria with 37,551 people.
However, the number of Syrian migrants, risking the central Mediterranean route from North Africa, has been reduced from 42,323 in 2014 to 7,448 in 2015, and 1,200 in 2016.
IOM further reported that last year Italy received 11,929; 12,396; and 13,342 migrated refugees from three West African countries, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea, respectively.
A total of 25,846 unaccompanied children and 24,133 women used the central Mediterranean route in 2016 to migrate.
Image: Infographic on Mediterranean migrant route. Photo: courtesy of International Organization for Migration.