The United Nation’s migration office has raised alarm about children dying during migration at heart shattering rates. The report comes in the back drop of viral photos of a Central American migrant – father, daughter duo who drowned in the Rio Grande, a failed attempt to get into the US.
According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) report, ‘Fatal Journeys’, nearly 1,600 children under the age of 18, of the 32,000 migrants were reported dead of missing from 2014 to 2018. Statistics show an average of one child dead or missing every day and as young as 6 months.
Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre said they have once again been reminded that ‘children are among the most vulnerable groups’ of migrants.
Researchers revealed that the Mediterranean is the most fatal migration route in the world, whereby over 17,900 people have died between 2014 and 2018. The IOM report said it is the most deadliest place for children, with recorded 678 deaths. “About 337 children died while migrating in Africa, although figures in that region are even harder to come by. The highest number of deaths – 144 occurred in North Africa, presumably on their way to Europe.”
The report further states that children die crossing lakes and rivers, as well as travelling on land routes on foot or in overloaded vehicles. Southeast Asia has been red marked as the ‘next deadliest’ region in the world for migrating children. “It is estimated that 363 children have died or have gone missing since 2014, with over 70 per cent of the deaths taking place in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.”
In regards to Europe, the report says land routes to Europe are less dangerous for children. But about 40 children have died while traveling by foot, bus, truck or train across Europe from 2014 to 2018.
Its about time that respective governments around the world came to terms of migration being a global crisis with nearly 50 million children having been uprooted, forced to flee brutal conflict and extremely poverty.