At least 951 people – including 49 children – have died while trying to reach Spain by sea in the first six months of this year. This is according to a report from a Spanish monitoring group, Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders).
The group revealed that the total number includes 112 women. In its report, the group said official Spanish figures show fewer boats arriving in the first six months, but that 13 more people died than in the first six months of last year.
Spain’s Interior Ministry reportedly says 12,192 people arrived by boat in the first six months, which is 4% less than in the same period last year.
Caminando Fronteras has blamed countries like Spain and Morocco for failing to launch rescue efforts in time. This as an average of five people per day died while attempting to reach Spain by sea in the first six months of the year.
The report reveals that the people lost at sea hail these countries:
- The Gambia
- Sri Lanka
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ivory Coast
- Ivory Coast
Caminando Fronteras also identified human rights violations against the migrants who did survive the trek to Spain.
It further highlighted that surviving migrants were imprisoned, forcefully displaced, physically attacked or placed in detention under “the law on foreigners”. “The missing victims have been denied the right to be searched for,” the report says. “Victims whose bodies were found suffered from burial in mass graves, lack of identification protocols with guarantees, and absence of dignified burials respecting the beliefs they practiced in life”, revealed the group.
The group says they published the data hoping that the victims would not be forgotten, and that more human policies can be implemented for migrants.
“These figures are part of a process of reconstruction of memory: we count them so as not to forget them, we publish them for their families and communities, as a tool to continue fighting for borders to stop being spaces of no rights,” said Caminando Fronteras.