90 migrants feared dead as boat capsizes off Libya coast
About 90 migrants are feared dead as an overcrowded boat capsized off the Libyan coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. At least 10 bodies have been washed up on shores. Libya is a primary transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea. Over 33,761 people have died on the journey during 2000-17, which the UN admits is a gross underestimation.
33,000 killed in "the world's deadliest" journey for migrants
Since the 1970s, more than 2.5mn migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea illegally, mostly from Africa to Italy via Libya, and from the Middle East to Greece via Turkey. Earlier, visa rules were relaxed, but with the tightening of policies, people started turning to "longer and more dangerous routes." The UN has called it "by far the world's deadliest" journey for migrants.
Drop in illegal migrant movement due to tighter border controls
Last month, EU's border management agency Frontex had said migrants travelling to Europe illegally had fallen 60% from 2016 to 2,04,300. There was a 34% drop in the number of those headed to Italy, which stood at 1,19,000 last year, Frontex said. It attributed the reduction to stricter border controls. The EU has agreed to help Turkey and Libya check the unregulated influx.