More than 1,000 migrants died this year crossing the Mediterranean
The UN died more than 1,000 people this year trying to cross the Mediterranean.
UN refugee agency UNHCR said the & # 39; gloomy milestone & # 39; was reached for the sixth consecutive year after a weekend in which at least 12 migrants were killed when their inflatable boat sank to Morocco.
More than half of the dead are at the & # 39; central Mediterranean & # 39; this year. route to Italy and Malta.
In fact, that route represents around 68 percent of the deaths in 2019, although according to UN figures it accounts for only 14 percent of arrivals.
Migrants on an inflatable boat in the Mediterranean where 1000 people died this year to reach Europe, the UN refugee agency said
Arrival and death of migrants in the Mediterranean in 2019
Central route (Italy and Malta)
Western route (Spain)
Eastern route (Greece and Cyprus)
Figures from the International Organization for Migration from 27 September
In total, more than 68,000 people tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea in the first nine months of 2019, with nearly 9,000 in the last month alone.
Of the 1,000 deaths this year, there are more than 650 at the & # 39; central & # 39; route to Italy and Malta.
More than 250 people died en route to Spain and another 60 died en route to Greece or Cyprus.
The western route to Spain became more popular after Italy and its former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini adopted a hard line against migrants.
Although 7,000 migrants arrived in Italy this year, the same number was intercepted again at sea and returned to Libya.
Salvini, however, lost power after a political gamble failed in the summer and the new government somewhat softened its position.
Members of the Maltese armed forces take a group of migrants to a Maltese military ship in the Mediterranean
Today's creepy statistics have led to new demands for action.
& # 39; Things must change. We have to do more. Priority must be to save lives & # 39 ;, said Charlie Yaxley of the UNHCR.
& # 39; (NGOs) may not be criminalized or punished for their humanitarian efforts. No arrests of crew members. No seizure of boats. No denial of ports to dock.
& # 39; We need to do more to prevent people from attempting these dangerous boat trips.
& # 39; We need safe, legal alternative ways to gain access to asylum in Europe. People should never feel that they have no choice but to put their lives in the hands of smugglers. & # 39;
Leonard Doyle of the International Organization for Migration accused & # 39; an emerging tide of anti-migrant sentiment in our politics & # 39; before death.
& # 39; This shocking figure of 1,000 deaths is to a certain extent due to a hardening attitude and outright hostility towards migrants fleeing violence and poverty, & # 39; he said.
However, the figures for 2019 are lower than last year, and the 1000th death rate actually arrived later than in any other year since the UN records began in 2014.
Last year the 1000th death was registered in June and in the three previous years it occurred before April 18.
A group of migrants arrived in Granada, southern Spain two weeks ago, after they were rescued while sailing in a small canoe in the Mediterranean
The corpses of five more Moroccans were recovered yesterday after their inflatable boat sank to Spain in front of Casablanca.
Seven bodies were found hours after the migrant boat sank on Saturday and three other people were taken out of the water and taken to the hospital.
It was unclear how many people were on the boat and rescue workers continued their search.
Spain approved € 32 million (£ 29 million) last month to support Morocco in combating illegal migration and the EU has also promised money for border management.
Meanwhile, Libya's coast guard rescued around 70 migrants in Europe over the weekend after a few days of emergency in the Mediterranean.
The day before there was a boat with at least 50 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean.
In addition, at least three shipwrecks have been registered off the coast of Algeria in the last two weeks.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, a baby girl went missing during the crossing from the coast of Turkey to the Greek island of Kos on September 20, the UN agency said.
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