At least 443 migrants recorded dead while trying to reach Europe by sea this year: IOM

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday that as of May 8 this year, 443 migrant deaths had been recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes, almost three-fourths of the 620 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018, Trend reported citing Xinhua.

However, this past week was marked by several tragedies in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, in which at least 33 people lost their lives.

This figure does not include the 70 or so people drowned early Friday after their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia, in one of the worst incidents on the Mediterranean in months.

IOM said that 2019 is the sixth year of its efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project.

Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 31,821 individuals, including 878 in 2019 worldwide.

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher, IOM said.

Latest figure from IOM also showed that 17,000 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea as of May 8, roughly a 30 percent decrease from the 24,492 arriving during the same period last year.