BERLIN: More than 50,000 people worldwide have lost their lives during their migratory journeys since IOM’s Missing Migrants Project began documenting deaths in 2014, according to a new IOM report published today (23/11). Despite the increasing loss of life, little action has been taken by governments in countries of origin, transit, and destination to address the ongoing global crisis of missing migrants.
“While thousands of deaths have been documented across migration routes each year, very little has been done to address the consequences of these tragedies, let alone prevent them,” says Julia Black, co-author of the report.
“Regardless of the reasons that compel or drive people to move, no one deserves to die in search of a better life.”
Over 30,000 people in the Missing Migrants Project records are of an unknown nationality, indicating that more than 60 per cent of those who die on migratory routes remain unidentified—leaving thousands of families searching for answers.
“As time goes by, there is no news,” a Moroccan migrant in Spain told IOM in 2021 while searching for his brother who disappeared 20 years ago en route to Europe.
“We just want to know if he is alive or dead. We just want to know something.”
Of the missing migrants whose nationality could be identified, more than 9,000 were from African nations, over 6,500 were from Asia and another 3,000 were from the Americas. Notably, the top three countries of origin— Afghanistan, Syria and Myanmar—are marked by violence, with many people fleeing their homes to seek refuge abroad.