Number of asylum-seekers drowned in Mediterranean reaches 5,000 for 2016
- The U.N. refugee agency announced the figure—amounting to an average of 14 deaths per day—following the recent deaths of 100 asylum-seekers after two dinghies sank off the coast of Italy.
- The number is highest annual total yet, with contributing factors including poor weather, decreased boat construction quality, increasingly crowded seas, and increasingly desperate attempts to avoid detection and deportation.
- According to the International Organization for Migration, nearly 360,000 reached Europe’s shores by sea in 2016, a significant decrease from the more than 1 million in 2015.
“Migrant crisis: UN says 5,000 drown trying to reach Europe this year” (BBC)
“Mediterranean death toll is record 5,000 migrants this year: agencies” (Reuters)
“‘Worst Annual Death Toll Ever’: Mediterranean Claims 5,000 Migrants” (The New York Times)
(Image Credit: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)