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11 September 2017

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Real number of Migrant Death Far Higher as Many Deaths Never Recorded

Berlin (IOM) - IOM, the UN Migration Agency has released a new report on migrant deaths and disappearances worldwide through its Berlin-based Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

Since 2014, more than 23,000 migrant deaths and disappearances have been recorded globally by the IOM. The real number is likely to be much higher as many deaths are never recorded.

The report is the third volume in IOM’s Fatal Journeys series. This volume focuses on how to improve data on missing migrants in order to prevent further deaths, and to enable the families left behind to learn more about the fate of their relatives. Many families continue to spend years living in limbo, not knowing whether a loved one is alive or dead as so few bodies of missing migrants are identified.  

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After an irregular entry into Mexico near Ciudad Hidalgo, to move north through the country, to the US border, many Central and South American migrants begin their journey in Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico. Photo: Keith Dannemiller/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2014

The Power of the Story

Families use them to heal, remember and find their loved ones

US-Mexico Border (IOM) – On the United States‒Mexico border, thousands have lost their lives, thousands are still missing, and families are caught in the excruciating space in between. Story sharing holds power for healing on a family level, but these stories are also fundamental for shifting the narrative around immigration that too often focuses on numbers and abstractions. Family stories have the power to refocus that narrative on individual human beings, on the nuances of individuality that are evident in every single missing persons report. Bearing witness to the families’ stories is a beautiful and powerful way to begin to understand the human cost of the border, while also calling on communities to honour the lives that have been lost in this terrain with an act of collective recognition and remembrance.

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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


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Nathalie: "Racism stems from fear of the other, but it is high time to take stereotypes and wring their necks."
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IOM Seeks USD 26.1 Million to Address Lifesaving Needs. Read more


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Migration in the News


  • The Guardian reported that deaths in Mediterranean have risen with migrants opting for dangerous routes and exposing themselves to violence.

  • Reuters reported that according to UNHCR, an estimated 270,000 refugees have fled Myanmar in the past two weeks and sought refuge in Bangladesh. 

  • CNN reported that Myanmar's government has rejected a proposed ceasefire by militants in the country's embattled Rakhine state. It mentioned that the US Department of State said it is very concerned about the region and is working with international partners to provide emergency assistance for the displaced.

  • Bangladesh’s The Daily Star reported that the government has acquired a software system to record biometric data as part of efforts to document the refugees entering Bangladesh from Myanmar. 

  • Dhaka Tribune reported that the United States has lauded the Bangladesh government for its generosity in responding to the humanitarian crisis of the Rohingyas fleeing the persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. 

  • AP reported that with Rohingya refugees still flooding across the border from Myanmar, those packed into camps and makeshift settlements in Bangladesh are becoming desperate for scant basic resources and dwindling supplies. 

  • AP reported about the wider disaster facing Iraq’s Sunni Arabs. Three years of war have freed their lands from the rule of the so-called Islamic State group but have also left the community at its lowest state ever. 

  • Kuwait News Agency reported that Kuwait reiterated its aspirations to attain the membership of IOM as an observer during a meeting with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

  • Xinhua reported that as much as 78 percent of total remittances may currently be sent to Ethiopia through informal channels in some corridors.

  • Kathmandu Post reported that two Sri Lankan women have been rescued from the clutches of traffickers who tried to send them to various foreign destinations using Nepal as the transit point. 

Trending on the Internet


  • News Deeply reported that while access to asylum is improving in Mexico, the country still has a long way to go to protect refugees, says Coventry University’s Simon McMahon.

  • iNews reported that according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, migration curbs will strangle house building plans and that planners need to identify enough land in the capital to build more than 50,000 new homes every year for the next 25 years.

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