Worldwide migrant fatalities since 2000 surpasses 40,000 says IOM

30 September 2014 (Last Updated September 30th, 2014 18:30)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released new data that shows the number of migrant fatalities worldwide has surpassed 40,000 since the year 2000.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released new data that shows the number of migrant fatalities worldwide has surpassed 40,000 since the year 2000.

The report, ‘Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost during Migration’, provides comprehensive data on migrant fatalities across land and sea.

According to the report, more than 3,000 migrants have died this year on their way to Europe, while 22,000 refugees have died since 2000 in the same incidents, mostly on illegal routes across the Mediterranean Sea.

The report indicates that Europe is the world’s most dangerous destination for irregular migration.

The US/Mexico border has witnessed almost 6,000 migrant deaths, while 3,000 deaths have been reported in Africa’s Sahara Desert and the waters of the Indian Ocean.

"The report indicates that Europe is the world’s most dangerous destination for irregular migration.."

IOM has asked the governments to address this issue of illegal migration and death, which it described as "an epidemic of crime and victimisation."

IOM director general William Lacy Swing said: "Limited opportunities for safe and regular migration drive would-be migrants into the hands of smugglers, feeding an unscrupulous trade that threatens the lives of desperate people.

"We need to put an end to this cycle."

The report also aims to use social media to create awareness among communities.

IOM spokesperson Leonard Doyle said: "We want to turn #MissingMigrants into a powerful voice to warn future migrants against taking these high-risk journeys.

"It is not doing it with a poster or a radio spot, but with the most persuasive means out there; the voices of survivors and the family members of missing migrants."

A report released by the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) in August had said that 1,900 people have died so far in the Mediterranean this year while attempting to migrate.