The UN migration agency has said that 4,470 migrants died along migration routes worldwide in 2021, exceeding the 4,236 deaths registered in 2020.
In spite of repeated calls for concrete action to reduce tragic loss of life during migration journeys worldwide each year, the death toll in 2021 has exceeded 4,470 after dozens were reportedly killed on Thursday, November 9, after a truck crammed with migrants crashed in Chiapas, Mexico, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement.
According to IOM's Missing Migrants Project, over 45,400 deaths have been recorded worldwide since 2014.
'Deaths documented almost daily'
Globally, the number of deaths this year is already more than the 4,236 total recorded in 2020. Considering fatal incidents are often recorded weeks or months later, the final toll in 2021 is likely to be much higher, the statement said.
"Covid-19 has meant an unprecedented decrease in human mobility, but the Missing Migrants Project still documents deaths almost every day", said Frank Laczko, director of IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Center (GMDAC), where the project is based.
"Dozens of States have committed to the Global Compact for Migration but very few have engaged on Objective 8 to 'save lives and establish coordinated international efforts on missing migrants'. IOM urges States to develop policy and practice to reduce the risks that people face in seeking a better life."
2,720 deaths on migration routes to and within Europe
The number of deaths and disappearances has increased on many migratory routes across the world in 2021, including in Europe and the Americas.
On migration routes to and within Europe, the 2,720 deaths recorded make it the deadliest year in the region since 2018.
The central Mediterranean crossing has claimed at least 1,315 lives so far this year.
At least 937 people died on the Atlantic route to the Spanish Canary Islands -- more than any previous year for at least a decade, IOM said.
The land border between Turkey and Greece also saw an increase in deaths in 2021, with at least 41 lives lost, more than any year except 2018, when 59 were recorded.
On the Belarusian borders with the European Union, 21 deaths were registered in 2021, though no official data are available, the statement said.