Categories: World News

Over 4,000 Migrants Died Trying To Reach Spain In 2021, Says NGO

File photo of migrants on a boat.


Over 4,000 migrants died or disappeared trying to reach Spain by sea in 2021, twice as many as in the previous year, a migrant rights group said Monday.

Migrant arrivals in Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic have increased since late 2019 after increased patrols along Europe’s southern coast dramatically reduced crossings to the continent via the Mediterranean.

This route is fraught with dangers due to strong currents and the greater distances involved.

READ ALSO: India Begins Vaccinating Teens As Omicron Fears Rise

A total of 4,404 migrants perished or vanished in attempts to reach Spain last year, up from 2,170 in 2020, according to Spanish non-governmental organisation Caminando Fronteras, which tracks data from boats in distress.

That is the highest yearly number since the group started keeping records in 2015.

The bodies of the vast majority of migrants, 94 percent, were never found so they are counted as missing.

Over 90 percent of the deaths or disappearances last year, 4,016, took place during attempts to reach Spain’s Canary Islands.

The shortest route to the archipelago is more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Moroccan coast.

“There are painful figures”,¨Maria Gonzalez Rollan, one of the authors of the annual report, told a news conference.

Migration routes to Spain were becoming more “feminised”, with 628 women and 205 children among those who died or went missing last year while trying to reach the country, she added.

The figures from the NGO are much higher than those from the UN International Organization for Migration which has tallied 1,279 deaths or disappearances of migrants on their way to Spain from northern Africa last year.

At least 37,385 migrants arrived in Spain by sea last year, according to Spanish interior ministry figures, slightly less than the 38,014 that arrived in 2020.


Ronke Sanya Idowu

Disqus Comments Loading...
Published by
Ronke Sanya Idowu
Tags: Canary Islands Spain

Recent Posts

  • Headlines

Reps Allege Interference By AGF, Interpol In Stolen Crude Oil Probe

Th Committee is investigating a whistleblower’s allegation of illegal sale of 48 million barrels of Nigeria’s bonny light crude in…

3 hours ago
  • World News

Kyiv Accuses Russians Of Kidnapping And Selling Ukraine Children For Sex

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of kidnapping thousands of children -- including orphans.

4 hours ago
  • World News

Putin Warns West Over Arms Deliveries To Ukraine

He was speaking at a ceremony commemorating the Red Army's victory against Nazi troops 80 years ago in Stalingrad, as…

4 hours ago
  • Headlines

INEC Accuses Pat Utomi Of ‘Invading’ Lagos Office

The electoral body accused the chieftain of the Labour Party of holding an "illegal" press conference within its facility.

4 hours ago
  • Headlines

Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Endorse Peter Obi

Adebanjo and Clark had previously endorsed Obi ahead of the February 25 poll.

4 hours ago
  • Headlines

Buhari Stops Govt Officials From Using Private Emails

The President said that the digital economy sector has been most successful in the diversification of the nation’s economy.

5 hours ago