Tags: Immigration | refugees | drownings | migrants | deaths

Report: Some 5,000 People Died Fleeing Their Homelands in 2014

By    |   Thursday, 04 December 2014 07:58 AM

Some 5,000 people fleeing their home countries — mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East — lost their lives this year while seeking safe haven, according to the Swiss-based International Organization for Migration, The New York Times reported.

That number is double the 2,376 people believed to have been killed last year while fleeing their homelands, with nearly 800 refugees dying in the Bay of Bengal, 700 in the Mediterranean, and over 400 along the Mexico-U.S. border.

Preliminary details for 2014 indicate that the high toll of those known killed was largely due to a surge in drownings of refugees at the hands of human smugglers, who transport them in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats, according to the Times.

Some of the migrants were Arabs from Syrian, Iraq and Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials in Ramallah, which is controlled by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement, have accused senior Hamas officials of being involved in the illegal emigration of Palestinians, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Migrants must raise relatively large sums — more than $2,000 per person — to pay the smugglers.

"We know that across Africa, there are Facebook pages where smugglers advertise," said Leonard Doyle of the International Organization for Migration.

The organization also reported that fighting in Iraq has led to the displacement of  2 million people.

The International Organization for Migration has an annual operating budget of about $1.3 billion, a staff of 8,400 and operates in over 150 countries, according to its website.

For one reason or another, an estimated 190 million people left their homelands and were living in some other country in 2005, the Times reported.

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Some 5,000 people fleeing their home countries - mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East - lost their lives this year, more than double the number of those killed last year, The New York Times reported.
refugees, drownings, migrants, deaths
268
2014-58-04
Thursday, 04 December 2014 07:58 AM
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