Refugees and migrants suffer brutality and abuses along the routes towards the Mediterranean. Many fall prey to traffickers and smugglers and are extorted, raped, and sometimes killed or left to die. Many of them flee violence and persecution and have dire and urgent protection needs. It is critical that they receive life-saving support and protection in the countries to which they initially flee.
Since 2014 more than 19,000 deaths and disappearances occured in the Central and Western Mediterranean, and no less than 1,064 deaths were recorded in 2020 alone. According to UNHCR, between January and October this year, 48,980 people arrived by sea to Italy, of which 72.7% were men, 19.9% children, and 7.4% women. As of 20 October, 1,293 deaths and missing people were registered in the Central and Western Mediterranean for the year 2021.