The IOM explains that border closures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the migratory journeys which push people to deadly situations where humanitarian help is not available.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned on Friday that at least 1.504 people have died trying to migrate during the first half of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest data published by the organization´s Missing Migrant Project, most deaths took place in the Mediterranean region, which accounts for 443 of the total followed by North Africa and the U.S. Mexico border, with 265 and 196 death migrants respectively.
“The lack of focus on migration-related issues means that the true number of migrant deaths is likely much higher,” Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) explained.
“The fact that these numbers do not include deaths of foreign workers due to COVID-19 – which few countries currently publish – makes it difficult to know the true impact of the pandemic on migrants,” the official added.
On the other hand, hundreds of migrants have died in shipwrecks and vessels that were reported missing en route to Europe but no hard evidence can be found yet. The IOM estimates that During 2020, more than 800 people have been lost at sea in these shipwrecks.
The organization explains that border closures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the migratory journeys which push people to deadly situations where humanitarian help is not available.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has killed migrants stranded everywhere in the world. Over 300 internal migrants have died in India, 81 of them on Shramik Special trains. In the U.S. over 1.400 migrants have died of COVID-19 according to media reports cited by the IOM.
Furthermore, the organization warned that hundreds of Rohingya migrants remain stranded at sea since Asian states refused to allow them to disembark over fears of contagion. Although the real death toll for these migrants remains unclear, one of the latest evidence showed that in April one boat stranding caused 70 deaths and the vessel was denied entry for months.