Migrant deaths increase globally in 2014

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Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

The number of migrants who have died while trying to reach other countries has reached record numbers in 2014 according to the UN partner organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Around 5,000 migrants lost their lives this year at sea, in remote deserts or travelling across mountains.

The highest death toll was in the Mediterranean, where over 3,000 people drowned after embarking on unseaworthy boats.

On International Migrants Day marked annually on 18 December, the IOM Director General William Lacy Swing said it will take time to reverse the flow of migrants.

"I'm not optimistic in the short-term, but I think by working together in the medium-to long-term measures can be put in place to save lives and cause fewer people to take these hazardous routes across the various sea routes and across the desert."

An unprecedented number of crises in the world, including in Syria, Iraq, Libya, the Central African Republic and South Sudan are all driving increased migration.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’15″

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