Fatal journeys

Tracking lives lost during migration

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In October 2013, over 400 people lost their lives in two highly publicized shipwrecks close to the Italian island of Lampedusa, but sadly, they are not isolated incidents. Estimates in 2013 and 2014 reach close to 6,500 lost lives of migrants in border regions around the world. Many deaths occur in remote areas and are never reported. This publication investigates how border-related deaths are documented, who is documenting them, and what can be done to improve the evidence base to encourage informed accountability, policy and practice. Included are migration routes through Central America to the United States, with a focus on the United States–Mexico border region; the southern European Union bordering the Mediterranean; routes from sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa; routes taken by migrants emigrating from the Horn of Africa towards the Gulf or Southern Africa; and the waters surrounding Australia.




We would like to thank all contributing authors for their dedication to this project, and are grateful to many for their assistance in the production of this publication. We would particularly like to thank Marzia Rango for her invaluable support, as well as Denis Kierans and Emma Eggink. We would also like to thank IOM colleagues in Rome, particularly Flavio Di Giacomo and Simona Moscarelli, as well as Martine Cassar from IOM Malta. Much thanks to Leonard Doyle and Joel Millman and the Media and Communications Division in Geneva, as well as colleagues in IOM Headquarters, Mexico, Australia and Egypt for their assistance with the revision of the content. Special thanks are also extended to Stefanie Grant for her advice, and Christopher Horwood and Marg Hutton for their contributions. This publication would not have been possible without the hard work of the IOM Publications team, based in Manila and Geneva and headed by Valerie Hagger. Finally, we are grateful to IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, for his commitment to this publication and to the issue of migrant deaths more broadly.


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