GMDAC Data Briefing – Dangerous Journeys: International Migration Increasingly Unsafe

IOM’s Missing Migrant Project has recorded over 3,700 people who lost their lives or went missing in the course of migration in the first half of 2016.  This startling figure is a 28-per cent increase compared with the numbers recorded in the same period in 2015.  While this can partly be attributed to improving data collection, it also speaks to the level of risk associated with attempting to move across international borders in 2016.

This data briefing, produced by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, outlines data recorded by the Missing Migrants Project in the first half of 2016.  The contexts in which people died and went missing while migrating in key regions around the world, including Central America, South-East Asia and the Middle East, are discussed.  The data show, for instance, a decrease in the number of deaths recorded in South-East Asia in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, and that more migrants have died in the Middle East and North Africa due to violent means in the first six months of 2016 compared with the whole of 2015.  The Mediterranean Sea, which accounts for 78 per cent of the data collected from 1 June to 30 June 2016, is also discussed, with analysis of the three main routes taken by those attempting to migrate towards Europe: the Eastern, Central and Western routes.  The challenges involved in identifying those who die during irregular migration are also examined.

Regions in focus


Missing Migrants Project by International Organization for Migration (IOM) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This means that Missing Migrants Project data and website content is free to share and adapt, as long as the appropriate attribution is given.          Schweizerisch Eidgenossenschaft Logo

IOM's Missing Migrants Project is made possible by funding by the Government of Germany, UK Aid from the Government of the United Kingdom and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the Governments of Germany, the United Kingdom or Switzerland.