Mеждународна организация по миграция


 Mediterranean statistics update

Posted: 09/18/18

Themes: Humanitarian Emergencies, Missing Migrants

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 77,555 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 17 September, with 33,611 to Spain, the leading destination this year.

This compares with 131,884 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 298,663 through a similar point (13 September) in 2016. 

Spain, with over 43 per cent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean through this year, has outpaced

Greece and Italy throughout the summer.

Italy’s arrivals to date – 20,777 – are the lowest recorded by IOM since 2014, lower in fact, than arrivals recorded by Italian authorities during many individual months over the past five years. The same can be said for Greece, whose totals for irregular migrant arrivals through the first week of September this year (22,153) recently surpassed arrivals to Italy. It is the first time that has happened since the early spring of 2016.  


IOM Italy released data Monday on irregular arrivals from North Africa (see chart below) through mid-September. According to the latest figures, 20,777 irregular migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, 79.7 percent less than the same period last year. Libya remains the main departure country. Migrant rescues occurred in the Channel of Sicily and then brought to Sicily (main ports: Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Trapani, Palermo, Lampedusa).

The 700 irregular migrants who arrived from 1-17 September represent an average of fewer than 32 per day – compared to averages of over 2,009 per day last September and 566 per day the September before that. According to IOM data collected during the current Mediterranean emergency, during peak summer months in 2016 and 2017, daily arrivals to Italy frequently surpassed 750. 

IOM staff are deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia where they provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor the reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups. 


IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that 33,611 irregular migrants have arrived by sea this year via the Western Mediterranean; of those, some 10,680 arrived since the start of August. For the first 16 days of September, irregular migration arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route were running at a rate of 267 per day (see chart below). 

Search and rescue operations


On Monday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou wrote that from Friday, 14 September to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported that there were at least 12 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 573 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

A total of 22,153 irregular migrants have arrived in Greece by sea thus far in 2018. See Tables below for further details.

IOM staff are present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Kos and Crete Island, working closely with authorities (Frontex, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the First Reception Service) to identify vulnerable migrants including unaccompanied minors, elderly migrants, migrants with medical needs and families with children. Vulnerable groups are referred to authorities in order to be provided with the necessary care.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,716 people migrating to international destinations in 2018.

Most recently, three people died in the Eastern Mediterranean when trying to reach Greece. On the night of 16 September, a boat in which 19 people were trying to reach the Greek island of Kos capsized near Bağlar Bay in Bodrum, Turkey. The Turkish Coast Guard saved 16 survivors (including 8 children and 6 women) and recovered the remains of two women. Another woman remains missing.

In the Western Mediterranean, a woman drowned when the boat in which she was travelling capsized in the Alboran Sea on 16 September. The Spanish rescue services managed to rescue 54 survivors from the sinking boat.

On 13 September, the remains of three migrants, including one woman, washed up on the shores of Beni Ensar, Morocco. Their bodies were taken to the morgue of Hassani Hospital in Nador, according to local NGOs.

Additionally, the Missing Migrants Project team, based on information received from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), recorded the deaths of 130 migrants on 1 September in a shipwreck off the coast of Al Khums, Libya. A group of 276 people, among them survivors of the shipwreck, were disembarked in Al Khums on 2 September. An MSF medical team provided urgent medical assistance to 18 survivors and collected their testimonies. It was reported that 165 adults and 20 children were on board the boat (185 people in total), while only 55 survived. Two bodies were recovered by the Libyan Coast Guard. This indicates that 128 people went missing and presumably drowned in the shipwreck, including 20 children, according to survivors’ testimonies.

In Europe, a 24-year-old Eritrean migrant was stabbed in a parking lot near the E40 highway, in Wetteren, Belgium on 12 September. On the border between the United States and Mexico, migrants keep dying in ones and twos, often due to the hardships of the journey itself. On 11 September, US Border Patrol agents found the remains of a man who had died of dehydration in the Jacumba mountains, California. The day after, they assisted a pregnant woman and a man who got lost in the Yuha desert, California, both suffering from dehydration. Tragically, the man died before reaching the hospital. On 15 September, the body of a man was recovered from the Río Bravo by Mexican civil protection authorities.

In the first two weeks of September, at least four migrants lost their lives while transiting through Mexico. Migrants who cross Mexico to reach the border with the United States are exposed to disproportionate levels of risk of human rights violations, disappearance and death.

On 7 September, the remains of a man were found on the side of the highway between Monterrey and Reynosa, near the municipality of General Bravo in Nuevo León. He is believed to have been part of a group of 300 migrants who were detained by Mexican migration agents a few days earlier while travelling in a truck.

Although various sources suggest that migrants are dying in large numbers along the migrant trail in Mexico, the scale of deaths is difficult to measure. The discovery of mass graves containing the remains of migrants of Central America origin give evidence of the growing number of migrants who disappear in the context of their journeys through Mexico.

Most recently, the remains of 9 Guatemalan migrants who were found in a clandestine grave in February 2015 were identified. The last time their families heard from them had been on 16 February 2014. One year later, a clandestine grave containing the remains of 16 people was discovered in the municipality of Güémez, Tamaulipas. In July 2018, the State Attorney General’s Office notified the families that their missing relatives were among those found in this grave. Families of these nine men had to wait for three years and six months to find out what happened to their loved ones. Tragically, the families of many missing migrants may never receive any confirmation of life or death, never fully able to grieve their loss.

recent report by the Mexican Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights estimated that 390 clandestine burial sites were discovered in 23 Mexican states between 2009 and 2014, containing 1,418 bodies and 5,768 unidentified remains. Unfortunately, there is no national register of clandestine graves and no effective system in place to identify and link missing persons and unidentified bodies recovered.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

 2017 Counter-trafficking statistics snapshot

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Spotlight on the Mediterranean

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Migrants presence

62,418 present migrants and refugees 

in Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania

Updates as of 15 August 2018


Country Number of present migrants Date of last recorded present migrants
Greece 56,549  25 April 2018 
the FYR of Macedonia 112  15 August 2018 
Serbia 3,227  15 August 2018 
Croatia​​​​​​​​​​​* 380  15 August 2018 
Slovenia* 279  18 July 2018 
Bulgaria​​ 948  15 August 2018 
Hungary​ 136  15 August 2018 
Cyprus​* 394  8 August 2018 
Romania 393  15 August 2018 


Please note: Location-level data currently unavailable for Greece.

*​​​ Number of asylum seekers.

Data Sources: National Authorities, IOM and UNHCR

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Relocated migrants

34,694 people relocated in 24 countries

22,005 from Greece 
12,689 from Italy

Latest figures

(updates as of 30 April 2018)

Member State From Greece From Italy Total
Austria 0 43 43
Belgium 700 471 1,171
Bulgaria 50 10 60
Croatia 60 22 82
Cyprus 96 47 143
Czech Republic 12 0 12
Estonia 141 6 147
Finland 1,202 778 1,980
France 4,400 635 5,035
Germany 5,391 5,434 10,825
Ireland 1,022 0 1,022
Latvia  294 34 328
Liechtenstein 10 0 10
Lithuania 355 29 384
Luxembourg 300 249 549
Malta 101 67 168
Netherlands 1,755 1,020 2,775
Norway 693 815 1,508
Portugal 1,192 356 1,548
Romania 683 45 728
Slovenia 172 81 253
Slovakia 16 0 16
Spain 1,124 235 1,359
Sweden 1,656 1,392 3,048
Switzerland 580 920 1,500
Total 22,005 12,689 34,694


Based on Commission proposals, the Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted in September 2015 two Decisions to relocate asylum seekers from Italy and Greece, to assist them in dealing with the pressures of the refugee crisis. Under the emergency relocation scheme, up to 106,000 asylum seekers with a high chance of having their applications successfully processed (EU average recognition rate of over 75%) were to be relocated from Greece and Italy, where they had arrived, to other Member States where they would have their asylum applications processed.

Between October 2015 and April 2018, IOM assisted the relocation of 34,694 persons in need of international protection with pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation and movement management. A majority of them were male (63%), adults (68%), and of Syrian (52%), Eritrean (35%) and Iraqi (11%) nationality. The scheme also benefitted 585 unaccompanied or separated migrant children.

Due to the strict eligibility criteria, the changes in criteria during the implementation of the scheme, as well as the drop in arrivals to Greece and Italy during the project implementation, the number of assisted beneficiaries is considerably lower than the target of 106,000 persons. Almost all eligible persons registered in Greece and in Italy have been successfully relocated to another European state with the assistance of IOM.

Data source: IOM

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Transit routes

From January 2018, 79,043 people have been traveling to Europe through various transit routes across Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

In 2016 387,739 people traveled to Europe through various transit routes across Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

Statistics of arrivals for countries of first arrival in Europe

Arrivals to Bulgaria (Source: IOM and National Authorities): as of 26 Aug 2018

Cumulative Total (1 Jan 2015 until Date of Last Recorded Arrivals): 51,920
Date of Last Recorded Arrivals: 26 Aug 2018
Total 2018: 1,148
2018 by sea: 0
2018 by land: 1,148
Total 2017: 2,562
Total 2016: 17,187
Type: Country of first arrival in Europe

Arrivals to Greece (Source: IOM and National Authorities): as of 26 Aug 2018

Cumulative Total (1 Jan 2015 until Date of Last Recorded Arrivals): 1,097,235
Date of Last Recorded Arrivals: 26 Aug 2018
Total 2018: 27,914
2018 by sea: 18,529
2018 by land: 9,385
Total 2017: 35,052
Total 2016: 176,906
Type: Country of first arrival in Europe

Arrivals to Italy (Source: IOM and National Authorities): as of 26 Aug 2018

Cumulative Total (1 Jan 2015 until Date of Last Recorded Arrivals): 473,949
Date of Last Recorded Arrivals: 26 Aug 2018
Total 2018: 19,761
2018 by sea: 19,761
2018 by land: 0
Total 2017: 119,369
Total 2016: 181,436
Type: Country of first arrival in Europe

Arrivals to Malta (Source: IOM and National Authorities): as of 26 Aug 2018

Cumulative Total (1 Jan 2015 until Date of Last Recorded Arrivals): 349
Date of Last Recorded Arrivals: 26 Aug 2018
Total 2018: 714
2018 by sea: 714
2018 by land: 0
Total 2017: 0
Total 2016: 0
Type: Country of first arrival in Europe

Arrivals to Cyprus (Source: IOM and National Authorities): as of 26 Aug 2018

Cumulative Total (1 Jan 2015 until Date of Last Recorded Arrivals): 1,710
Date of Last Recorded Arrivals: 26 Aug 2018
Total 2018: 133
2018 by sea: 133
2018 by land: 0
Total 2017: 1,078
Total 2016: 345
Type: Country of first arrival in Europe

Arrivals to Spain (Source: IOM and National Authorities): as of 26 Aug 2018

Cumulative Total (1 Jan 2015 until Date of Last Recorded Arrivals): 91,931
Date of Last Recorded Arrivals: 26 Aug 2018
Total 2018: 32,376
2018 by sea: 27,994
2018 by land: 4,382
Total 2017: 28,707
Total 2016: 14,558
Type: Country of first arrival in Europe




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Violence against aid workers

Violence against aid workers in 2017
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