IOM: Latest Data on Europe Migrant Emergency

Switzerland - Through two and a half weeks of September, IOM teams have recorded total arrivals to Europe by sea in 2015 at 473,887 men, women and children. At least 182,000 of those migrants have arrived from Syria—making Syrians just under 40 per cent of this year’s total. In 2014, Syrians comprised between 25 per cent and 33 per cent of those entering Europe by sea.

Deaths on sea routes today stand at 2,812, up from 2,661 at the end of August. In other words: an average of just over 8 fatalities per day through the current month. September 2015 may prove to be less lethal for Mediterranean Sea migrants than was September 2014, largely because it was a year ago when between 500 and 800 migrants went missing in a single tragedy off the coast of Malta, when a craft filled with mostly Syrian and Palestinian migrants reportedly was rammed by a smugglers boat after an altercation on the high seas. Only 11 migrants are known to have survived that shipwreck, with hundreds of victims never recovered.

IOM Thursday (17/09) released new data on registered arrivals in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). IOM reminds members of the media that virtually all of this migrant flow arrives from Greece, but may not necessarily be coming from sea-borne smuggling routes. IOM does not discount the possibility some of those registered may have passed through Albania, Turkey or Bulgaria and therefore are not always the same migrants recorded as entering the Greek islands from Turkey. IOM believes the overwhelming majority represent those migrants continuing their journeys from Greece’s Aegean islands, but recognize there may be discrepancies. 

Statistics on registered arrivals – The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Country of Origin


Other demographic data



54,484 male
11,156 female
13,542 children (accompanied by a family member)
2,467 unaccompanied children













Democratic Republic of the Congo














Other countries




*** Source of Statistics: Ministry of Internal Affairs – number of registered persons that have expressed the intention to submit an asylum application and covers the period from 19 June 2015 (start date of the registration process) to 17 September 2015 (08.00 am).


In coordination with IOM Greece, we would like to inform you that a meeting was held between IOM and other international aid workers Thursday, 17 September to discuss the matter of discrepancies which have been noticed last week on the number of new arrivals only in Lesvos, as they are being recorded by aid organizations.

The discrepancies emerged from September 7th, 2015 as this was the first day after the chaos and riots which broke out in the island and the fast track – manual registrations began.

Therefore, we managed to identify the exact days when the discrepancies appeared.

Parties agreed that there were mass registrations on 7/9/2015, approximately 16,000 arrivals; IOM has already included that high number of registrations from September 5th- September 7th.

On September 8th, 2015, we were informed by the Hellenic Police that the mass registrations continued and led to the number of 16,341. However, we agreed to double check the actual number of registrations that day in case there was double counting while regional staff will visit the Police Directorate for further clarifications regarding the procedures followed that day.

In addition, we would like to mention that the last week, the procedure of registrations changed completely. More specifically, until recently the Hellenic Coast Guard was the first authority which was implementing the registration of those newly arriving in the island while the Hellenic Police was undertaking the counting in a second stage in order to proceed with the referral of the personal file of each newly arriving migrant to the Prosecutor.

  • In the last week, the Hellenic Coast Guard as well as the Hellenic Police began coordinating for the registrations in order to accelerate their procedures. Therefore, the total of the number registered by both authorities gives us the number of daily arrivals. During our meeting, we realized that we have a difference of 7,000 registrations from September 11th to September 14th which probably was caused by the alternation of procedures followed.
  • From now on IOM will use one source of information for the arrivals in Lesvos – the Hellenic Police, which is the responsible authority for the publication of the official statistics at the end of each month.
  • IOM’s focal point for gathering data on arrivals will be in daily contact in order to be in a position to observe if there is anything which could be double checked with the Police.
  • Today, our regional staff visited the Police Directorate in Lesvos in order to request further clarifications on the days of our discrepancies, since September 7th, 2015.  The Police Officer shared the number of people who received police clearance per day, but not the actual number of arrivals, while also advising IOM not to count them as the actual number of arrivals, a number which is being provided to us the following day.

These are the numbers shared today:

  •          SEPTEMBER 7:         9,571
  •          SEPTEMBER 8:         3,317
  •          SEPTEMBER 9          2,719
  •          SEPTEMBER 10           748
  •          SEPTEMBER 11        2,363
  •          SEPTEMBER 12        2,990
  •          SEPTEMBER 13           719
  •          SEPTEMBER 14        1,262
  •          SEPTEMBER 15        2,056
  •          SEPTEMBER 16        3,846
  •          SEPTEMBER 17        3,615

Please note that there are no discrepancies at the other islands so we are looking forward to your feedback on how we can handle that issue and if you agree to proceed with the numbers of those who are receiving the above mentioned report.

We will keep you updated on any further development as we will try to clarify the actual number of arrivals in Lesvos. Thank you in advance for your assistance and understanding.

For the latest data on arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit Missing Migrants Project:


For further information please contact:

IOM HQ: Joel Millman, Tel: + 41 79 103 87 20, Email: 

IOM Italy:  Flavio Di Giacomo, Tel: +39 347 089 8996 Email:

IOM Greece, Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174 Email:

or Kelly Namia, Tel: +302109919040, +302109912174, Email:

IOM Turkey, Emrah Guler, Tel: +903124541138, Email: