IOM’s Missing Migrant Project has recorded over 3,700 people who lost their lives or went missing in the course of migration in the first half of 2016. This startling figure is a 28-per cent increase compared with the numbers recorded in the same period in 2015. While this can partly be attributed to improving data collection, it also speaks to the level of risk associated with attempting to move across international borders in 2016.
This data briefing, produced by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, outlines data recorded by the Missing Migrants Project in the first half of 2016. The contexts in which people died and went missing while migrating in key regions around the world, including Central America, South-East Asia and the Middle East, are discussed. The data show, for instance, a decrease in the number of deaths recorded in South-East Asia in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, and that more migrants have died in the Middle East and North Africa due to violent means in the first six months of 2016 compared with the whole of 2015. The Mediterranean Sea, which accounts for 78 per cent of the data collected from 1 June to 30 June 2016, is also discussed, with analysis of the three main routes taken by those attempting to migrate towards Europe: the Eastern, Central and Western routes. The challenges involved in identifying those who die during irregular migration are also examined.