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UN Agency Reports 4.7K Migrant Deaths In 2021, Urges Countries Take Steps To Reduce Risks

The IOM reported that despite repeated calls for significant action to decrease catastrophic fatalities, the number of migrant deaths worldwide topped 4,470.

UN

Image: AP


A recent report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has revealed that in spite of several repeated urges for significant action to decrease catastrophic fatalities during migration journeys throughout the world every year, the number of migrant deaths in 2021 has topped 4,470. 

The latest addition to the number came after a truck crashed in Chiapas, Mexico, killing over 50 people. As per IOM's Missing Migrants Project, over 45,400 fatalities have been documented since 2014. 

Frank Laczko, the Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), said, “COVID-19 has meant an unprecedented decrease in human mobility, but the Missing Migrants Project still documents deaths almost every day.”

This year's death toll has already surpassed the 4,236 deaths reported in 2020. Given the fact that fatalities are sometimes not reported for weeks or months, the ultimate toll in 2021 is likely to be significantly higher. 

Migrant deaths worldwide

In 2021, the number of fatalities and disappearances on various migration routes throughout the world, particularly in Europe and the Americas, has grown. Nearly 54 migrants had lost their lives in the truck accident on Thursday, which has been considered to be the single worst occurrence for migrants in Mexico since the UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration began tracking deaths in 2014. 

This year, since 2014, 651 migrants died trying to cross Mexico's border with the United States. This rise is particularly alarming because most of the data for this border area is not released and will not be published until the end of the year. 

Further, this year, there were 1,121 deaths in the Americas- much greater than in previous years. In addition to this, another 2,720 deaths had been registered on migratory routes to and within Europe, further making 2021 the deadliest year since 2018.

Till now, this year, the Central Mediterranean passage has taken the lives of an estimated 1,315 people. Approximately, 937 individuals perished while crossing the Atlantic to reach the Canary Islands in Spain, which can be considered to be far more than any prior year, at least within a decade. 

Migration-related mass disasters have become more common, as per IOM. Thus, the agency has called on governments to create policies and practices that would lessen migrant deaths worldwide. 

(Image: AP)

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