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[Graphic News] Over 8,500 migrants died worldwide last year

By Nam Kyung-don

Published : March 28, 2024 - 08:01

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A total of 8,541 migrants perished on land and sea routes worldwide in 2023, the UN migration agency said, the highest figure since it began counting such deaths a decade ago.

The International Organization for Migration said the biggest increase in deaths last year came amid the treacherous Mediterranean Sea crossing: reaching 3,129 from 2,411 in 2022. This figure was however below the record 5,136 number of people who died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2016, when huge numbers of Syrians, Afghans and others fled conflicts toward Europe.

The total number of deaths among migrants in 2023 was nearly 20 percent more than in the previous year, according to the IOM.

Most of the deaths last year, about 3,700, were due to drowning, it said. (AP)