Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Approach 43,000 in 2017; Deaths: 962

Switzerland - IOM reports that 42,974 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 19 April, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 205,613 through the 19 April 2016. 

Mediterranean Developments




1 JANUARY – 19 APRIL 2017

1 JANUARY – 19 APRIL 2016

Country of Arrival







898 (Central Med. route)


853 (Central Med. route)



14 (Eastern Med. route)


376 (Eastern Med. route)






50 (Western Med. route)


34 (Western Med. route)

Estimated Total





Di Giacomo notes that the 36,703 migrant arrivals to Italy by sea so far in 2017 surpasses by more than 10,000 the number of arrivals at this point during each of the past two years. (See chart below.)IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday (20 April) that over 8,360 migrants have been rescued and brought to Italy since rescue operations were carried out on the high seas between Friday and Sunday (14-16 April). He reported migrants had been traveling on 55 separate rubber dinghies – each carrying anywhere from 110 to 150 people – as well as at least three large wooden vessels, carrying 200, 250 and 500 people respectively.


Italy’s Ministry of Interior released figures on nationalities of migrants arriving so far in 2017, reporting that the countries of Guinea (Conakry), Nigeria, Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire and The Gambia heave each sent at least 2,000 migrants through the first three months of 2017. The statistics are striking in the case of Bangladesh, which recorded just a single arrival by sea from Africa during the first three months of 2016, compared with 2,831 this year.

Arrivals are also up sharply from Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco, compared with the similar period last year. Arrival numbers from Somalia are down significantly from the first quarter of 2016. (See chart, below.)


IOM Libya’s Christine Petré said Libyan fishermen on Tuesday found the bodies of 28 migrants in a boat off the coast of Subratah, as reported by Libya’s Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). She added so far this year 4,129 migrants have been rescued off the Libya coast with remains of 205 migrants retrieved.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project reports that there have been 1,486 fatalities through 19 April (see chart, below), with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over half of the global total. This comes to 734 fewer fatalities than were reported up to the same point in 2016. However, these data do not account for full reporting from North Africa and the Horn of Africa, two migration corridors where data collection tends to be slower than in other regions.

Since Monday, Missing Migrants Project has added the most recent drowning (Wednesday, 19 April) reported along the Rio Bravo that separates Mexico from Texas. IOM has recorded 26 drownings on the Texas-Mexico border so far in 2017, compared with nine at this time last year. Throughout all of 2016 Missing Migrants Project recorded 61 river drownings of migrants on the Texas-Mexico border. 2017’s 26 drownings through April 19 are three times the 2016 total to this point and nearly half the total for all of last year.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:


For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:

 Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:


For further information please contact:

Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:

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

Sabine Schneider at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 17 Email:

IOM Yemen, Saba Malme, Sana’a, Tel : + 967 736 800 329 (mobile), Email:

IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email:

Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:

Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel. (Direct): +90 (0)312 454 3048 , Mobile: +90 (533) 698 7285, Email:, or Mazen Aboulhosn, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email:

IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email:  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct):  +216 29 240 448, Email: or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216 29 794707, Email:

IOM Niger: Alberto Preato, Tel: +227 8053 5933, E-mail:

Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:


For information or interview requests in French:

Florence Kim, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email:

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