'Unwanted, Unnoticed: an audit of 160 asylum and immigration-related death in Europe' by Reem Abu-Hayyeh and Frances Webber has been described by the IRR as "disturbing". Snapshots detailed in the report make for grim reading.
"A Polish migrant, Piotrowski, died in Dublin crushed in a recycling bin. He had been given notice to leave the Frederick Hall hostel for homeless eastern EU migrants, which was to be turned into a one-night facility. Consequently, he started sleeping in bins for shelter, and was crushed when the recycling bin he was sleeping in was emptied one night," the report details.
Germany had the largest number of recorded deaths, with 29. According to the report:
"In September 2014, footage emerged from Germany showing guards from one of the main operators of asylum reception facilities, European Homecare, abusing asylum seekers, forcing them to lie down on mattresses covered in vomit and standing with a boot on their neck."
Refugees? No, 'Fortune Hunters'
Followed closely by Norway with 23 deaths, the report cites that: "Concerns have been expressed about Norway's detention of asylum seekers including children…
"Politicians use phrases such as 'fortune hunters' to describe refugees."
And the UK, with 22 deaths, where some of the issues raised in the report include: "Indefinite detention for migrants in prison-like conditions, casual racism and brutality and medical neglect."
In Britain, recent Home Office figures revealed that 30,000 migrants are detained indefinitely — many detainees have never committed a crime.
A male officer tried to search me once. I told him not to come near me three times but he didn’t stop so I punched him and gave him a bruise— Detained Voices (@detainedvoices) March 30, 2015
The Institute of Race Relations says the deaths in the last five years in the detention and reception centers and the streets and the squats of Europe, "are a product of the rightlessness and the lack of human dignity European governments accord to migrants and asylum seekers."
Of the 160 deaths that were recorded, 60 were suicides, 26 were caused by untreated illness or an illness that was exacerbated by being held in detention and 16 were caused by destitution.
Incomplete Picture — Tip of the Iceberg
Over 50 nationalities are mentioned in the findings. The majority are from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The audit of 160 deaths was compiled through newspaper articles and NGO reports. The IRR admits the report doesn't reflect a complete picture. The total number of deaths in recent years remain unknown, suggesting that the true toll is the tip of the iceberg.
Our forthcoming report on deaths in custody, Dying for Justice, just back from the printers pic.twitter.com/BN2d1onJ0q— IRR News (@IRR_News) March 18, 2015
Many countries don't record migrant's deaths — or investigate them.
"Some lives simply don't matter. These deaths reflect exactly the same indifference to human life that we see at the border… This suffering, these deaths need to be accounted for," said Liz Fekete, Director if the IRR.
"Poor and vulnerable people across Europe, irrespective of nationality, are increasingly ignored by the affluent and the powerful. They are, to all intents and purposes, Europe's non-people — 'unwanted, unvalued and unnoticed.' "
Authors Reem Abu-Hayyeh and Frances Webber cites accusations by many organizations, including the Pope who have "berated Europe's leaders for policy failures, and a moral attitude of indifference and inertia, which have contributed to the thousands of refugees who are drowning each year in the Mediterranean Sea".
But it's the survivors of that perilous journey and their subsequent fate on EU soil that this report calls Europe's humanitarian ideals into question.