More than 20,000 migrants have died as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea and head to Europe since 2014, the European Commission announced yesterday.
"Since the beginning of 2021, a total of 1,369 migrants have died in the Mediterranean," the commission said in a report.
In a similar context, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported recently that the migrant death toll in the first six months of the year was "no less than 1,146 people," adding that the fatalities were "doubled compared to the same period last year."
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IOM pointed out that the number of people who attempted to cross into Europe across the Mediterranean had risen by "58 percent during the period from January to June 2021 June this year compared to the same period last year."
A report published by the Guardian newspaper in May found that European Union (EU) member states' pushback of asylum seekers and refugees seeking to enter Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the death of over 2,000.
It found some EU states have been using a series of coordinated tactics to push back tens of thousands of asylum seekers, and were reportedly supported by the EU's border agency Frontex.