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26 February 2016

Mediterranean Migrant, Refugee Arrivals in Europe Top 120,000

Posted on Fri. Feb-26-2016

Greece - Migrant and refugee arrivals in Greece and Italy have exceeded 120,000 in 2016, having reached the 100,000 milestone earlier this week, almost four months earlier than in 2015. As of 25/2, Greece alone had received some 111,099 arrivals since the beginning of the year, according to IOM estimates.

During the same period, over 418 migrants and refugees have also lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean, with the Eastern Mediterranean route between Turkey and Greece continuing to be the deadliest, accounting for 321 migrant deaths. During the same period in 2015, 428 migrants died in the first two months of the year.

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Migrants returning home from Libya to Burkina Faso (file photo). © IOM Tripoli 2016

IOM Evacuates More Stranded Burkinabe Migrants from Libya

Posted on Fri. Feb-26-2016

Libya - As the humanitarian situation in Libya continues to deteriorate with no solution in sight, the number of migrants seeking IOM support to voluntarily return to their home countries is rising.

In the latest operation, the IOM mission in Libya yesterday (25/2) repatriated 117 stranded Burkinabe migrants, including five women and two children, to Burkina Faso.

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Quote of the day

"A large number of today’s refugees will be the citizens of tomorrow. The success of the integration of these people is crucial for the social and economic future of our city." – Mannheim Mayor Peter Kurz. More here

For the latest Mediterranean Update data on arrivals and fatalities please visit: #MigrationEurope


A global database tracking data on deceased and missing migrants along migratory routes.

Visit #MissingMigrants

Migration in the News

  • IOM Director General William Lacy Swing was a guest on Japan’s BS Fuji Live prime news (Part 1, Part 2) to discuss Europe’s migration crisis.
  • BBC, IBT reported that ministers from EU and Balkan nations met in Brussels yesterday to try to heal rifts over the admission of asylum seekers to the EU. The meeting heard plans drawn up by Austria and eight Balkan countries to limit numbers.
  • AFP reported that European nations have adopted a raft of restrictive measures since the beginning of the year as they seek to stem an influx of asylum seekers.
  • Mail Online/AFP reported that the EU's immigration system is just ten days from 'completely breaking down' if it does not curb the number of people arriving in Europe, according to the European Commission.
  • RT reported that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the EU risks turning his country into a refugee “warehouse” unless other nations in the bloc share the burden of the migrant crisis.  
  • The New York Times reported that with no unified plan to tackle the refugee crisis, European nations seem to be reverting to historical alliances rather than acting with solidarity.
  • Euronews reported that European Parliament president Martin Schultz called Hungary’s decision to hold a referendum on the EU’s relocation scheme for refugees and migrants a “populist and nationalist response to a global challenge.”
  • Euractiv reported that NATO’s anti people-smuggler operation in the Mediterranean has drawn criticism from human rights activists for its policy of sending refugees back to Turkey.
  • The Washington Post reported that the number of migrant and refugee arrivals in Italy and Greece has already passed 100,000 this year, citing IOM data. Zeit Online, TagesspiegelRP, Welt, Bild, Reuters, Berliner Morgenpost, and Donaukurier cited the same data.
  • Al Jazeera reported that two migrants, stranded in Greece by blocked borders, tried to commit suicide by hanging themselves from a tree in a central Athens square.
  • CNN reported that a French court has upheld a decision to demolish the southern half of the "Jungle" migrant camp near the French city of Calais and relocate the migrants living there to better facilities.
  • The Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian government spent over C$32 million on flights to carry 23,098 Syrian refugees from Jordan to Canada between December 15 and February 22.
  • Sputnik/Khaama Press Agency reported that many Afghan asylum seekers, disappointed with Germany, want to return home.
  • Dabanga reported that over 90,000 people have fled Darfur’s Jebel Marra area after fighting between government forces and the Sudan People's Liberation movement that started in mid-January, according to UNOCHA.
  • Ghana’s Graphic Online and Citi FM Online reported that 21 children aged 9-16, suspected to have been trafficked from Ghana to South Africa, have been repatriated with IOM’s help. They were lured to South Africa under the pretext of training them to play football in Europe and America.

Trending on the Internet

  • The Guardian reported that Australia is one of at least 30 countries that “illegally forced refugees to return to countries where they would be in danger” last year, according to Amnesty International’s 2015 annual report. It claimed Australia’s boat “turnbacks” policy has acted as an example for other countries in the region to force asylum seeker boats back to sea.

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