Movement restrictions introduced worldwide by the coronavirus pandemic have not prevented thousands of people from emigrating around the world, to the point that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 1,200 migrants have lost lives in the first semester, 678 of them since the beginning of March.
The UN agency warned in a report released on Friday that the number of deaths and enforced disappearances is only an estimate as it does not include, for example, the “many more” deaths that would equate to cases of migrant workers victims of COVID -19.
Another obstacle to proper data collection is “invisible shipwrecks,” as the IOM identifies ship sinks where it may not even be known how many people were on board. In the first half of 2020, more than 800 people were killed in shipwrecks such as those that occurred in Febrrero near Libya, which would have killed more than 90 people.
“The lack of attention to issues related to migration means that the real death toll is likely to be much higher,” the data analysis center director Frank Laczko said in a statement. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the “real impact” of the pandemic on this group.