More than 1,500 individuals have died to this point in 2018 making an attempt to achieve Europe by crossing the Mediterranean, the UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has stated, including that that is the fifth consecutive yr that the grim benchmark has been reached.

The overwhelming majority of the 1,504 deaths have been drownings that occurred as individuals tried to cross from Libya to Italy (1,111), in accordance with the info collected for the Missing Migrants Project.

This was adopted by 304 deaths on the path to Spain and 89 on the best way to Greece.

In a press release on Friday, the IOM stated 304 fatalities have been recorded between January and July 25, “far outpacing the 124 recorded in the equivalent period of 2017 – and the 224 recorded as drowned or missing during all of last year”.

The quantity of people that have arrived in Europe this yr is 55,001, a lower of 50 p.c in contrast with the identical interval final yr.

However, on a per capita foundation, 2018 is likely one of the deadliest years but as a result of the variety of individuals making an attempt to achieve Europe is considerably decrease.

Spain extra widespread

The IOM stated that in current months there was a giant improve within the variety of individuals making an attempt to cross the Mediterranean to achieve Spain as an alternative of Italy.

“Arrivals to Italy trail Spain by almost 3,000; a week ago the gap was less than 200,” the assertion stated.

“Additionally, 3,125 migrants have attempted to enter Spain irregularly via the country’s African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, according to Spanish authorities,” it added. 

“With this month’s figures, Spain is the Mediterranean’s most-sought destination for irregular migrants travelling by sea, surpassing Italy and Greece.”

Greece, which was the primary vacation spot for many individuals earlier than the European Union struck a take care of Turkey which halted the variety of refugee arrivals, has seen a 50 p.c improve in contrast with the identical interval final yr.

In whole, greater than 5,000 individuals have arrived in Greece to this point this yr.

Italy however, has seen a dramatic drop within the variety of migrants arriving.

More than 640,000 individuals have reached Italy by boat from Africa up to now 5 years.

Divided EU

In current months, Italy’s new populist authorities has turned away a number of rescue vessels patrolling the Mediterranean to save lots of refugees crossing the ocean from drowning. 

Since taking on his put up in early June, Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who can be one of many nation’s two deputy prime ministers, has pushed the divisive situation of migration to the forefront of the EU agenda by refusing to open his nation’s ports to migrant rescue ships.

Under the European Union’s so-called “Dublin rules”, asylum seekers have to be processed within the nation the place they first arrive – normally Italy, Greece or Spain.

In an try to cut back the variety of refugees making an attempt to achieve Europe, the leaders of Italy and France have urged the EU to arrange asylum processing centres in Africa to stop refugees and migrants from endeavor the journey throughout the Mediterranean, a transfer extensively criticised due to the customarily dire circumstances in these international locations.

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