A fishing boat carrying around 400 migrants on board arrived on Lampedusa island and docked at the commercial pier where disembarkation operations are underway, in Lampedusa, southern Italy, 04 November 2023. EPA-EFE/ELIO DESIDERIO


Frontex: 331,600 migrants illegally reached Europe so far in 2023


331,600 migrants illegally reached Europe in 2023, the most since the migrant crisis of 2015, says Frontex.

The number increased by a year-on-year 18 per cent in the first ten months of 2023, says the European border agency. There were 49,600 irregular crossings in October alone.

Irregular crossings on the Western African migrant route also doubled so far this year, to over 27,700.

That is the highest total for the route since Frontex began collecting data in 2009. The number of arrivals, 13,000 in October, is also the highest monthly total on record.

The three leading sources of irregular migrants are Syria, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire.

On Italy’s island of Lampedusa, over 1,600 migrants arrived on boats, saying they paid as much as $4,500 each for the crossing.

The central Mediterranean remained the busiest migration route entering the EU in 2023.

National authorities report more than 143,600 detections there in the first nine months of 2023.

This is the route’s biggest total for the time period since 2016.

“Sea crossings continue to present extreme dangers,” the European border agency notes.

Data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) show “2,468 people have been reported missing in the Mediterranean this year, the majority of whom were navigating the Central Mediterranean route”, they add.