Arrivals of migrants and refugees in Europe by sea in 2015 approached 800 000 in the first week of November, a figure that amounts to nearly four times the total for all of 2014, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on November 10.
IOM said the total number of fatalities on these routes now totalled 3455, but added that there could be some discrepancies in numbers for Greece and Spain where migrants previously counted as “missing” now were confirmed fatalities, a factor which should not change the overall count, but may have been double-counted by the organisation’s research team.
The organisation said that, according to Hellenic Police, an estimated 17 600 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece between November 6 and 8. Weather conditions were fine and migrants and refugees continued to board boats.
However the death toll continued to rise, with the Greek coast guard recovering eight bodies off Lesbos and Agathonisi during the weekend. They included a two- to three-year-old boy.
IOM also reported the recovery of the remains of a dozen or so migrants off Greece since last Thursday night, “however staffers on the islands caution that many of these so-called ‘new’ fatalities are simply confirmations of the dozens who were declared ‘missing’ in a series of shipwrecks over the past week.
The number of migrants and refugees crossing from Greece in the Republic of Macedonia also reached 26 840 between 6am on November 2 and 6am on November 9, IOM said.
(Photo: Migrants and refugees on the Greek island of Kos: (c) IOM 2015)