Identifying Migrant Bodies in the Mediterranean
The International Organization for Migration’s ‘Missing Migrants project’ is widely regarded as the first
comprehensive attempt at collating data on “migrants who have died or gone missing at the external borders of states, or in the process of migration towards an international destination” (IOM, 2018b). The data includes, when available, information of the migrants’ age, gender, origin, location, and cause of death. It is primarily sourced from IOM, UNHCR and government reporting as well as NGO and media accounts, and it is systematically compiled in a global database from which experts can analyze migration flows and changing trends. In regards to the main three routes of the Mediterranean region, the ‘Missing Migrants Project’ estimates that there have been 17,124 migrant deaths and disappearances since 2014. This figure represents 59,7% of the global estimate on migrant deaths and disappearances in the same four-year period, which at the time of writing stands at a stagggering 28,675.