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30 August 2017

Comments/questions: editor@iom.int


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"State of Exception/ Estado de Excepción". Backpacks of migrants found in the Arizona desert, as part of the Undocumented Migration Project led by Jason De León at the University of Michigan. © OTTO 2013 (Photo by Richard Barnes)

UN Migration Agency Statement on International Day of the Disappeared

(IOM) Geneva – Nearly 23,000 migrant fatalities worldwide have been recorded by IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Missing Migrants Project since 2014. Overall, 60,000 deaths on migration routes have been recorded in the last 20 years. However, not all deaths and disappearances are reported and/or recorded. In many regions of the world, migrants’ bodies are never found, and many more may never be identified. 

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Latest Statistics on Missing and Dead Migrants Worldwide

(IOM) Geneva – In 2014, more than 5,000 migrant fatalities were recorded globally. Since then, the annual number of deaths recorded during migration has increased each year – totalling nearly 23,000 over the period between January 2014 and August 2017. During the first eight months of 2017, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project recorded 3,514 deaths and disappearances of international migrants were worldwide This figure is lower than the 4,264 recorded in the first eight months of 2016, but still represents a significant increase over the number of fatalities recorded in the equivalent period in 2014 and 2015.

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Migrants on board a truck leaving from IOM transit centre in Niger. Photo: IOM / Amanda Nero 2016

Upcoming UN Migration Agency Publications on Migrant Disappearances

(IOM) Geneva – In order to prevent migrant deaths and disappearances, practical protection measures are needed to guarantee safe and regular ways for migrants to reach their destinations. Collecting and presenting information about who these migrants are, where they come from and why they move is the first indispensable step to understanding the phenomenon of irregular migration and to designing evidence-based, effective policy responses to prevent disappearances.

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IOM X is the International Organization for Migration's innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking. The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more


Diego: “Influence of mass media [..] makes people have a hard time imagining someone could come from a different place with a different reason.”
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2017 Global Migration Film Festival: Call for Entries. Promote the film festival and our call for film submissions. Read more


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Migration in the News

  • Voice of America and Middle East Monitor reported that no migrants have died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea over the past 20 days. 

  • IISD reported that while climate change is threatening to displace more and more people in the absence of mitigation actions, enacting policies and strategies that help manage potential increased migration flows more effectively is essential. 

  • News Deeply reported that as the number of migrants crossing the western Mediterranean accelerated this year, so did the alarmist headlines. Coventry University’s Simon McMahon puts the numbers in context and says there is little evidence yet that migrant routes are shifting from Italy to Spain. 

  • Rudaw reported that with international aid organizations warning of a need for psychological services, a displaced man from Mosul has strangled himself to death at a refugee camp in Hassan Sham in the Kurdistan Region. 

  • Indonesia’s Tribrata News reported that the Indonesian Police in Palembang, South Sumatra held a two-day workshop that sought to improve the operations of the Air and Water Police Corps to ensure the maritime security in the region.

Trending on the Internet

  • Times of Israel reported that the High Court of Justice on Monday allowed Israel to continue deporting irregular migrants to an unnamed third country, but said the government cannot jail those who refuse to go for more than 60 days.

  • Voice of America reported that Tanzania is set to launch the world's largest drone delivery network in January, with drones parachuting blood and medicines to save lives.


Media Contacts

For interviews and other media requests, please contact the

IOM Media and Communications team here.