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17 June 2016

Nigerian returnees from Algeria at an IOM Transit Center in Agadez, Niger. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero 2016

Niger Deaths Add to Growing Toll of Migrant Fatalities within Africa
Posted on Fri. June-17-2016

Niger - IOM notes the shocking discovery this week of the remains of 34 migrants near the Algeria-Niger border which brings to 471 the number of deaths and disappearances recorded on the African continent this year by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.

“At least 250 migrants have died in Libya and Sudan alone, many due to exposure, starvation or dehydration in the Sahara Desert,” explained Julia Black, a researcher with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin. She added: “There is also an alarming trend of violent deaths for migrants in North Africa, with dozens of cases of physical and sexual abuse of migrants directly leading to their death. It is likely that many more cases go unrecorded.” 

The 34 victims this week were reported to have died in Niger, after being abandoned by their smuggler. These are the only deaths recorded by IOM in Niger, where IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) operations estimate the passage this year of at least 120,000 migrants since January.

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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 213,581 Deaths 2,859
Posted on Fri. June-17-2016

Italy - IOM reports an estimated 213,581 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 15 June, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain. Deaths so far this year are 2,859 compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. In other words, fatalities on the Mediterranean Sea in 2016 stand at 1,020 ahead of last year’s mid-year total, although we remain three weeks shy of 2016’s mid-year point.

IOM’s spokesman in Rome Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday over 2,800 migrants had been rescued at sea and brought to port since the last report. Further, another 414 migrants were rescued but were not yet on land, so that over 3,200 migrants will have arrived in Italy since Monday. IOM estimates 54,778 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year, which is about 5,000 fewer than the total of arrivals to Italy last year through June 15. By the end of June last year, arrivals were 70,354.

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"Demagogues claim that opening the door to migrants transforms host nations beyond recognition; in fact, the impact of migration is strongly positive. Migrants rejuvenate aging societies and create much-needed economic activity.” –  Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. Read more here.

Migration in the News
  • The Guardian published an Op-Ed by IOM’s Dipti Pardeshi on the positive impact of remittances and how making transfers cheaper, transparent and more accessible will allow more of migrants’ hard-earned money to end up where it matters.

  • New York Times reported that the latest deaths at sea are a powerful reminder that the journey Africans take to escape the hardships of daily life in their countries is significantly more dangerous and increasingly common.

  • Süddeutsche, Spiegel Online, epd and Migazin picked up the information provided at a Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) media briefing in Berlin on migrant fatalities, identification and data.

  • Limerick Post reported that 24 Syrian refugees have been settled in Limerick, Ireland.

  • IPS reported the launch of new guidelines developed by the governments of the United States and the Philippines together with IOM that aim to help migrants experiencing crises.

  • Voice of America reported that aid agencies are racing to help families fleeing IS-held Fallujah in Iraq.

  • Liens Socio, Sciences Po CERI, OECD Development Center, Payot Libraire, RTS, RFI, Le Monde and Actu Environnement featured the publication “Atlas des migrations environnementales”.

Trending on the Internet

  • The Guardian reported that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are easy prey for kidnappers and militias in Libya, making the Mediterranean crossing far from the deadliest situation they face.

  • Reuters reported that a team of students from Edinburgh University designed a sun-powered phone charger that gives migrants in Greece free electricity.

Media Contacts

For comment / interviews on today's news, please go to the contact(s) listed at the end of each press briefing note.
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