4,400 migrants lost at sea bound for Spain in 2021, double previous year


BARCELONA (Reuters) – More than 4,400 migrants, together with at least 205 kids, had been lost at sea attempting to succeed in Spain in 2021, a monitoring group stated on Monday – greater than double the determine from the previous year and essentially the most for the reason that group started counting in 2018.

The group, Walking Borders, or Caminando Fronteras, blamed more and more harmful routes, inferior boats and the concern of some vessels to assist migrants at sea for the surge in deaths. According to Spanish official statistics, 39,000 undocumented migrants efficiently reached Spain by sea or land final year, an analogous determine to the previous year.

Walking Borders stated greater than 90% of these lacking or lifeless had been lost on 124 shipwrecks en path to Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean as of Dec. 20. Since 2020, the islands off the coast of Africa have grow to be the primary vacation spot for migrants attempting to succeed in Spain, with a a lot smaller share attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the Spanish mainland.

Helena Maleno, founding father of Caminando Fronteras, instructed Reuters the group gathered its information from hotlines arrange for migrants on vessels in hassle to name for assist, and from members of the family in search of info.

The group investigates the destiny of every boat. It presumes these lacking at sea for at least a month to be lifeless. Close to 95% of the figures characterize people who find themselves lacking.

The United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) counted 955 individuals who died or went lacking in 2021 attempting to succeed in the Canary Islands by Dec. 22, the best determine it documented since 2014.

The IOM obtains its information from officers data, media experiences and different teams together with Walking Borders, however says its numbers are conservative and the true toll might be larger.

Spain doesn’t preserve figures for individuals who die attempting to succeed in its shores, and an Interior Ministry spokesperson declined to touch upon the most recent figures.

(Reporting by Joan Faus from Barcelona, Emma Pinedo and Nathan Allen from Madrid; Editing by Aislinn Laing and Peter Graff)

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