The Korea Herald


[Graphic News] Migrant deaths in Middle East, North Africa hit highest since 2017

By Nam Kyung-don

Published : June 29, 2023 - 08:01

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Last year marked a grim milestone as migrant deaths within and from the Middle East and North Africa region surged to nearly 3,800 people, the highest number since 2017, according to data released by the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project.

This unsettling trend was mainly spurred by a shift in migratory paths, as increasing interceptions by the Libyan Coast Guard have forced desperate migrants to seek alternative and often perilous sea routes from North Africa and Lebanon to Europe.

The crisis has been worsened by heightened violence toward migrants in Yemen and ongoing regional difficulties, including poverty, insecurity, human rights violations and environmental degradation.

The true tally was likely much higher given the scarcity of official data and limited access to land routes in the region for civil society and international organizations.