IOM says US-Mexico border ‘world’s deadliest’ overland migration route


Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau

UNITED NATIONS, 13th Sept. International Organization on Migration agency on Tuesday said that the United States-Mexico border is the world’s deadliest land route for migrants, with at least 686 deaths and disappearances last year.

The agency noted that nearly half of the deaths on the border were linked to the hazardous crossing of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts.

Michele Klein Solomon, IOM’s Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean said “These alarming figures are a stark reminder of the need for decisive action by States,”

 “Enhancing data collection is crucial. Ultimately, what is needed is for countries to act on the data to ensure safe, regular migration routes are accessible.”

According to IOM, throughout the Americas, 1,457 migrant deaths and disappearances were recorded in 2022, the deadliest year on record.

These figures represent the “lowest estimates” available as many deaths were likely not recorded due to lack of data.

IOM stated that other concerning trends in the Americas included an over 42 per cent increase in deaths on migration routes in the Caribbean last year and the continuing dramatic situation at the Darien Gap.

The dangerous jungle border crossing between Panama and Colombia saw 141 documented migrant deaths in 2022.

IOM revealed that according to its surveys of people who attempted that crossing, one in 25 reported that someone they were traveling with had gone missing.

“The fact that we know so little about migrants who disappear in the Americas is a grim reality,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

“The impacts on the families left behind to search endlessly for a lost loved one are profound.”

IOM and the UNHCR have been advocating for a “collaborative, comprehensive and regional approach” in responding to humanitarian and protection needs of people on the move across the whole region.


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