Jean-Claude Junker

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The declare: The President of the European Fee, Jean-Claude Juncker, stated: “We now have drastically lowered the lack of life within the Mediterranean,” in his State of the Union speech to the European Parliament.

Actuality Test verdict: The estimated variety of deaths has gone down this 12 months, however for individuals who make the crossing the danger of dying is larger in 2017.

Is it an correct evaluation by the President of the European Fee Jean-Claude Juncker to assert that the European Union’s migration insurance policies have “drastically lowered” the quantity of people that drown whereas making an attempt to cross the Mediterranean?

Clearly, it relies upon partly on the way you outline “drastically”.

Absolutely the variety of deaths has actually gone down.

In 2015, in keeping with estimates issued by the Worldwide Organisation for Migration (IOM), there have been three,771 folks reported lifeless, or lacking presumed lifeless, within the Mediterranean. In 2016, the quantity rose to five,143. However to this point this 12 months – as much as 10 September – it has fallen to 2,542.

That’s nonetheless shockingly excessive, and Mr Juncker himself acknowledged that. “I’ll by no means settle for that individuals are left to die at sea,” he stated.

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EU businesses have helped practice the Libyan coastguard

However once you evaluate the variety of deaths with the quantity of people that have arrived within the EU, the 2017 figures look even worse – as a result of the variety of arrivals has fallen much more sharply than the variety of deaths.

In 2015, once more these are IOM estimates, a complete of 1,011,712 folks accomplished what are generally known as irregular sea crossings to achieve the EU.

That implies that for each one who drowned, 268 arrived safely on European shores.

In 2016, there have been 363,348 arrivals by sea – which means that for each one who misplaced their life, 70 arrived safely.

And to this point in 2017, 128,012 arrivals have been recorded – which implies that solely 50 folks have managed to achieve the EU for each one who has died.

So, by this studying of the figures, the scenario is definitely deteriorating.

Fewer individuals are trying to make the journey, however for these nonetheless making an attempt to take action the danger of dying has drastically elevated.

That is regardless of the efforts made by European international locations and non-governmental organisations to patrol the seas extra successfully.

Migrant deaths within the Mediterranean

  • 2015: three,771
  • 2016: 5,143
  • 2017 to this point: 2,542

Migrants who arrived within the European Union

  • 2015: 1,011,712 (268 per dying)
  • 2016: 363,348 (70 per dying)
  • 2017 to this point: 128,012 (50 per dying)

What are these measures that Mr Juncker refers to? First, beneath the EU’s Operation Sophia, there are presently 4 naval ships, two helicopters and three plane collaborating in anti-migrant-smuggling patrols within the Mediterranean.

Coastguard vessels from international locations reminiscent of Italy, Greece and Malta – or from the EU’s Border and Coast Guard Company, Frontex – additionally play a big function.

Secondly, extra individuals are being picked up by coastguard vessels within the territorial waters of the nation from which they set out.

Thus far this 12 months, for instance, the IOM says 13,826 folks have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and returned to Libyan soil.

Critics say much more must be executed. And it’s clear that the EU has been considerably extra profitable in decreasing the variety of migrant arrivals than in decreasing the quantity of people that lose their lives trying perilous voyages throughout the ocean.

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