The picture grabbed on a video and released by the Italian Coast Guard shows immigrants being rescued near Lampedusa after their boat sank. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/GUARDIA COSTIERA
The picture grabbed on a video and released by the Italian Coast Guard shows immigrants being rescued near Lampedusa after their boat sank. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/GUARDIA COSTIERA

A recent report by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) said that in the last four months, since the time that Italy clamped down on migrant arrivals, the number of migrant deaths at sea has increased, with an average of eight victims per day.

The number of migrant deaths and disappearances at sea has seen a "strong increase" in the past four months, since the start of the hardline policy set by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, in which Italy has put a hold on rescues at sea. 


The figures came in a new report by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), which also said that migrant arrivals to Italy have experienced "a relatively modest decrease". 

Comparison with past years 

The report compares three periods: 

  • 16 July 2016-15 July 2017
  • 16 July 2017-May 2018
  • June-September 2018. 

In the first period, 12 months before the drop in arrivals, 532 people arrived irregularly by sea to Italy each day. In the period that coincides with the implementation of policies by former Interior Minister Marco Minniti, the number dropped by 78 percent, to a total of 117 people per day. The period that corresponds to the policies of Salvini has registered an additional decrease in the number of arrivals, to about 61 per day. 

Increase in deaths at sea 

In terms of deaths at sea, in the period prior to the drop in arrivals, it is estimated that just under 12 people died per day. The year that coincides with Minniti's policies was accompanied by a distinct drop in the absolute number of deaths, which went down to about three people a day. 

In the four months since Salvini's policies have been in place, deaths and disappearances at sea have seen an increase and the toll now stands at eight people per day. 

Last September, 19% of those who attempted to cross the Mediterranean from Libya either died or went missing. That percentage has never been seen along the Central Mediterranean route, since the time that sufficiently accurate statistics became available.

 

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