GENEVA, 22nd December 2015 (WAM) — The International Organisation for Migration says more than one million irregular migrants and refugees have crossed into Europe this year, mostly from Syria, Africa and South Asia.
Through the weekend, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix – Flow Monitoring System counted 999,745 irregular arrivals across the Mediterranean, including migrants journeying by both land and sea to Greece, as well as to Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Malta and Cyprus.
With just days left in 2015, the Geneva-based intergovernmental organisation says the million mark was crossed Monday marking more than a four-fold increase from last year.
IOM says more than 800,000 crossed into Greece from Turkey, including more than 455,000 from Syria and over 186,000 from Afghanistan. Nearly 3,700 others died trying to cross the Mediterranean in Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
“The tally of fatalities also continues to rise, with 20 new deaths recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean since last Friday. This year’s total of migrant/refugee deaths now stands at 3,692 – over 400 more than in 2014 – plus at least 30 more deaths reported by African migrants seeking to enter Europe through Spain’s Canary Islands, IOM said on its website.
According to IOM’s monitoring system between 9-20 December 45.6% of migrants crossing Greece’s FYRoM border were male adults; 21.9% were female adults; 35% were accompanied children and 1.5% unaccompanied minors. The vast majority are Syrians, followed by Iraqi and Afghans, as no other nationalities are now allowed to cross.