IOM: One in three people die fleeing conflict

Refugees Refugees Photo by focuscolors via iStock

IOM figures record that one in three deaths occur while fleeing a war

As UN News reports, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) one in three people die while fleeing conflict or a country with large refugee populations, and more than two in three migrants whose deaths are documented remain unidentified.

According to the UN agency, 8,500 people lost their lives in 2023, recording the highest number of deaths ever, and so far in 2024 the trends are equally alarming, with some 956 cases recorded since 1 January.
The IOM noted that the number of unidentified deaths remains high, leaving families and communities with a lack of clarity as to what happened to a friend or relative. 

As Al-Jazeera reports, the UN agency pointed out that the published data is incomplete due to difficulties in obtaining and verifying information. There are many cases of 'invisible wrecks', i.e. wrecked boats that have never been found. Similarly, it is very difficult to report deaths that occur in the Sahara desert.
Despite the limitations of the data, it has also been recorded that almost 5,500 women and almost 3,500 children have died on migration routes in the last 10 years, although the number is probably much higher: there are more than 37,000 cases where no information on gender or age is available.

As Albawaba reports, data from the Missing Migrant Project show that the remains of 26,666 people who died during migration have not been recovered. 
And as IOM Deputy Director General Ugochi Daniels stated, these figures are a reminder to recommit to more action to ensure safe migration for all, so that people do not have to risk their lives in search of a better one.

The IOM adopted a new strategic plan 2024-2028 that aims to save lives and protect people on the move as its first objective. 
To this end, the UN Migration Agency calls on countries and other partners to work together to end migrant deaths and address the impact of the tens of thousands of lives lost on migration routes worldwide.



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