Who we are
Who we areMissing Migrants Project is an initiative implemented since 2014 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to document deaths and disappearances of people in the process of migration towards an international destination. As collecting information is challenging, all figures remain undercounted. The locations in most cases are approximate. Each number represents a person, as well as the family and community that they leave behind.
DataThe Missing Migrants Project dataset represents incidents in which a person lost their life during migration to an international destination. The figures shown throughout are best understood as a minimum estimate of the true number of people’s lives lost during migration worldwide.
Families of Missing Migrants
Families of Missing MigrantsFor every person included in the Missing Migrants Project data, there is a family awaiting news of their loved one and affected by their loss in a multitude of ways. The impacts of migrant deaths and disappearances on their families left behind are profound and complex, and solutions are urgently needed to address families’ many unmet needs.
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“Those days my heart would skip a beat whenever I heard the word ‘Home Office.’ You feared they were coming for you anytime you saw a police car. I was completely afraid of asking anyone else for help because I was an illegal immigrant and didn’t want just anyone at all to know. I didn’t even dream of opening up about this problem I was having until I got my papers.”
– Tasha,* a Somalian woman in Bristol looking for her father
“At first, I was trying to look for them but my situation made me stop. I was thinking: if I find them, then what? I don’t have any money, a place to stay or anything for them. I am ashamed of myself and they will be ashamed of me too when they see my situation. I want to know where they are and if they are well, then once things are better, I can reveal myself.”
– Shinne,* a Somali man in Bristol, looking for his missing brothers
“He left with another young man of his same age, his lifetime friend; his friend has not [been found] either; they simply left. They called from a beach, they said that they would sleep there, and leave the next day. That was on a Saturday. That was the last time they called.”
– Noor,* a Moroccan woman looking for her teenage son
“We don’t know which institution is responsible to offer information related to missing migrants. I don’t know where to go or whom to ask in the Government. Secondly, it is impossible to go to the country where [my son] went missing because I can’t afford that. What I can do is to get news from the delala [smuggler] who facilitated his journey. Though I am very disappointed in the delaloch [smugglers], I have never thought to accuse them [of my son’s disappearance] also because most of them are my relatives. Also, I am scared to go to the government office because I have heard of families who sent their children through illegal ways and who were arrested and thrown into jail. Thus, what I can do is keep praying, hoping that one day my God may herald me with good news.”
– Mother of a missing migrant from Ethiopia
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of those quoted.