UN finds Mediterranean ‘deadliest’ sea route for migrants

Amnesty International spokespeople available for interview 

New figures on migration just released by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees point to a “record high” of almost 350,000 sea crossings by migrants and asylum-seekers worldwide this year. The Mediterranean was the “deadliest route of all”, with at least 3,419 people losing their lives since January 2014. 

The findings give further weight to Amnesty International’s repeated calls on European Union (EU) institutions and member states to step up efforts to protect refugees and migrants making the dangerous sea crossing to Europe, often to flee persecution or armed conflict. 

“These new statistics confirm yet again the enormous and all too often fatal risk taken by the tens of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers making the perilous sea journey to Europe each year. The reminder that thousands of people are dying on Europe’s doorstep must spur EU institutions and member states to maintain adequate search and rescue capacity to stem the shocking tide of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean,” said Iverna McGowan, Acting Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

The organization is also calling on the EU and member states to open safe and legal routes so people aren’t forced to take dangerous sea routes in the first place. 

S.O.S. Europe is Amnesty International’s campaign for the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe and at its borders.

In September 2014, the organization published the report, Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants in peril in the central Mediterranean