Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Jan-June 2018

Mediterranean Migrant arrivals 1 January to 17 June 2018

Migration across the Mediterranean Sea has more than halved in the first four months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 from down from 45,540 to 22,439. Italy received the majority of arrivals at 42 percent, with 38 percent arriving in Greece, 20 percent in arriving in Spain. The reduction in numbers has largely been attributed to the policy of repatriating African migrants from Libya before they have the opportunity to attempt the crossing, as well as increased policing of Libya’s coast, increasing the number of migrants returned to shore along the route between Libya and Italy.


Table’s Source – International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 19 June 2018

Table’s Source – International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 19 June 2018

IOM reported the following developments between Friday and Monday (15-19 June):

  • 15 June: 682 people rescued on the Western Mediterranean Route.
  • 16 June: 304 people rescued on Western Mediterranean Route.
  • 17 June: A total of 934 arrivals, including the 630 people travelling on the Aquarius. Another 152 individuals (146 men, 3 women and 3 minors) were rescued on the Western African Route and were transferred to Arguineguín (Canary Islands). The remaining 152 were rescued on the Western Mediterranean Route and disembarked on the ports of Almeria, Motril and Melilla.
  • 18 June: A total of 419 individuals arrived on the Spanish coast during the first day of this week. Some 379 were rescued and another 41 arrived by their own means at the Alboran Island. The last update was done at 18:30h.

IOM reported that on Sunday the Libyan Coast Guard returned to Libyan shores 76 migrants. The migrants, the majority from Nigeria, Guinea and Senegal, departed from Azzawiyah in one rubber boat. Following the assistance, the migrants were transferred to Tajoura detention centre, where IOM will follow up with further assistance including protection and Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) screenings.

No fatalities have been reported. So far this year, 7,243 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard and added that last Thursday (14 June), IOM assisted 157 stranded migrants returning home to Nigeria on one chartered flight. Among the migrants were 14 medical cases and one unaccompanied migrant child. IOM Libya has assisted 14,785 since the scale-up phase started 28 November 2017 and a total of 27,916 migrants have returned home from Libya with IOM’s assistance since 1 January 2017.

Source – International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 19 June 2018


Halcyon Analysis:

The crackdown on migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya has led to an increase in maritime migration between Algeria and Italy, including the island of Sardinia. In late April, the Algerian government said it expects to receive increasing numbers of unauthorised migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Algeria has already received tens of thousands of migrants throughout the crisis, but expects to receive hundreds of thousands more, according to the country’s top migration official. The forecast is based on Europe’s 2016 deal with Turkey to halt unauthorised migrants, as well as ongoing efforts to halt boat departures from Libya and Tunisia, which have disrupted the main maritime route across the Mediterranean to reach Europe. The statement came days before at least 15 migrants died after the boat capsized off the Algerian city of Oran.

Another area that has seen an increase in migration is the eastern Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece. The area has seen a rise in sea migration in the first four months of 2018, from 3,781 in 2017 to 6,572 in 2018. The rise in migration could further increase in the coming weeks due to a Greek court ruling on 18 April which may encourage an influx of migrants to eastern Greek islands. The Council of State, which is the country’s highest administrative court, ruled that refugees and migrants crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece’s Aegean islands must be allowed to travel to the Greek mainland. This could incentivise migrants and refugees to travel to the islands in the hope of reaching Western Europe. The ruling could improve conditions on the islands but could also potentially undermine an agreement between Turkey and the EU that has limited the flow of arrivals to the Aegean islands.


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