The number of migrants and asylum-seekers who reached Europe in 2020 is the lowest it has been in the past decade, according to a report by the United Nations migration agency. But deaths and disappearances on sea routes remain alarmingly high with only a small fraction of bodies recovered and victims identified.
Of the 93,000 people who entered Europe irregularly last year, roughly 92% did so via the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean Sea, as well as through the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands, often on unseaworthy boats.
The International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project has confirmed the death or disappearances of nearly 2,300 people last year. This number is higher than in 2019 and slightly lower than in 2018.