In October 2013, 360 migrants drowned off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. In February of this year, 15 people died attempting to swim to the Spanish enclave Ceuta in Marocco. It is usually prominent cases like these that draw public attention to the refugee tragedies that take place on the EU’s borders.
But the tragedies don’t stop happening when no one is looking. There is hardly any information or any reliable data about how many people die on their way to Europe in an overcrowded refugee boat on the Mediterranean Sea or in an attempt to cross one of the border fences, which are supposed to keep migrants out of Spanish enclaves in Africa. In order to provide such numbers, a group of journalists from various European countries has now attempted to collate data from all the known cases.
One source of the information in the so-called Migrant Files is UNITED for Intercultural Action, a network of 560 international NGOs. “When we first started we thought our work would mainly be to check the data and aggregate it,” explained French journalist Nicolas Kayser-Bril.
“And when we put the two databases together we realized that many of the events were in one but not in the other, which meant that the actual number of casualties was much higher than what any one of these databases was claiming,” he said, explaining that they then also began to use data from other public sources, including newspaper reports…”
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German state news outlet Deutsche Welle pushes the immigrant and Muslim agenda constantly: they may be the worst offender of any European outlet in English. The Nazi history has kept anti-immigrant parties back in Germany.