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Web Alert: UNHRC - Over one million migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2015

08 January 2016

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recently released a report showing that just over 1 million migrants had reached Europe via a Mediterranean crossing during 2015 whilst up to 3,800 people are feared to have lost their lives in doing so.

This number of sea arrivals marks an almost five-fold increase over 2014 figures, where the number was recorded at slightly more than 219,000.

According to the UNHRC, more than 80% the migrants arrived in Greece, and almost 15% arrived in Italy. Spain recorded more than 3,500 arrivals and Malta 105. It has further been reported that the vast majority of those crossing the Mediterranean are from Syria (about 49%), while Afghanistan accounted for 21% of arrivals and Iraq 8%.

The UNHRC reports that fewer migrants seek to cross the Mediterranean during the winter months, though attempts continue to be made. Given that the cold weather and rougher waters make journeys more dangerous the club strongly recommends that vessels trading in this region should continue to exercise vigilance and remain fully prepared in the event their assistance is required to engage in a search and rescue operation.

The club will continue to keep members fully updated on any developments, with further alerts where necessary. If a member has any queries in relation to this issue, they should not hesitate to call their usual club contact, or the author of this web alert.