UNICEF Says Migrant Deaths At Sea Surged In Jan-Apr 2019 Despite Decrease In Arrivals

UNICEF Says Migrant Deaths at Sea Surged in Jan-Apr 2019 Despite Decrease in Arrivals

The number of migrants dying at sea was up in the first four months of 2019 despite there being less people overall making it to Europe after journeying across the Mediterranean Sea, the special coordinator for the refugee and migrant response with the UN children's agency UNICEF told Sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd June, 2019) The number of migrants dying at sea was up in the first four months of 2019 despite there being less people overall making it to Europe after journeying across the Mediterranean Sea, the special coordinator for the refugee and migrant response with the UN children's agency UNICEF told Sputnik.

"We actually have seen an overall decline in the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe through the Mediterranean route - Greece, Italy, Spain... but more deaths at sea," Afshan Khan said in an interview.

Some 6,000 children came to Europe between January and April of this year, according to UNICEF, fewer than in 2018, Khan said.

At the same time, the proportion of children among migrants and refugees has gone up from one in five to one in four.

"Also in terms of composition of countries of origin we've also seen a little bit of a shift from - initially there were far more from the middle East, and now we're getting more young people from South Asia and East and West Africa as well," she said.

The UN International Organization for Migration estimates that 519 migrants have died or gone missing this year in their effort to reach Europe's shores, more than a quarter of what was reported for the whole of 2018. Most of them disappeared off the Libyan and Turkish coasts.

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