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    German Navy sailors surround a boat with more than 100 migrants near the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' during EUNAVFOR Med, also known as Operation Sophia, in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    Death Risk for Migrants Crossing Mediterranean Reached Lowest Level in 2015

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    Some 3,400 migrants died while en route across the Mediterranean sea out of around 1 million which attempted to cross the sea to Europe in 2015, around the same number of deaths occurred in the Mediterranean in 2014 – over 3.000 – while only 200,000 managed to cross the sea that year.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The risk of death for the refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 fell to the lowest level recorded — 2.7 fatal cases per 1,000 crossings, a report published Wednesday revealed.

    According to the report by Philippe Fargues, the director of the Migration Policy Centre in Florence, the relative decline of the risk should be attributed to "intensified search and rescue operations of the Italian Navy" and the change of routes chosen by asylum seekers.

    "The 250-500-kilometer [155-310-mile] route from Libya to Italy has been changed to a route of 10 to 20 kilometers between Turkey and the Greek islands of the Dodecanese," the report published in the monthly bulletin of the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) said.

    According to the report, some 3,400 migrants died while en route across the Mediterranean sea out of around 1 million which attempted to cross the sea to Europe in 2015. Around the same number of deaths occurred in the Mediterranean in 2014 – over 3.000 – while only 200,000 managed to cross the sea that year.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty. The majority of migrants and asylum seekers arrives in the European Union by sea, entering the Mediterranean nations such as Greece and Italy.

    Almost 170,000 people arrived in the European Union via the Mediterranean Sea in January-March 2016, eight times more than during the same period of 2015, the International Organization for Migration said Friday.


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