A new report from the Missing Migrant Project of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has revealed that more Africans passed on due to irregular migration in 2020 than people from other continents.
According to the report, 3,101 migrants died globally in 2020 while trying to reach different international destinations through irregular routes.
The deaths were recorded across six regions of the world between 1 January and 16 December 2020.
The data showed that Africans make up the highest number of dead irregular migrants at 1,483, followed by Americans at 580, with Asia, the Middle East, and Europe accounting for the origin of 352, 147, and two dead migrants respectively.
“While 1,504 deaths were recorded on the Mediterranean Sea, the minimal estimate data set further revealed that more migrants died in Africa more than other continents at 919.
“About 646 migrants died in the Americas, while Asia, the Middle East, and Europe accounted for the deaths of 291, 105, and 85 irregular migrants respectively.
In a press statement by the Media Officer for The Migrant Project, Tayo Elegbede lamented the irregular migration and human trafficking in spite of the global pandemic facing the world.
“It is disturbing that in spite the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, irregular migration, and human trafficking continue to thrive resulting in the death of many Africans,” Elegbede said.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the push factors, risks, and dangers of irregular migration across the world.
“Before the pandemic, Africa was prominent for irregular migration due to poverty and social inequality.
“With economic depression across the world, we are seeing rising numbers in both regular and irregular migration from Nigeria and other African countries.
“Our advice to potential migrants is to avoid desperation without direction and seek information from verified sources in order not to be victims of irregular migration, human trafficking, and migratory fraud.”
Elegbede noted that migration was not a crime if done the right way. He urged state and non-state institutions to advance socio-economic support for the teeming young African population while promoting safe and orderly migration.