The bodies of 120 refugees have washed up on the shores of Libya in the past 10 days, from shipwrecks in the Mediterranean that were not previously known, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. A total of 4,027 refugees have died worldwide so far this year, three-quarters of them in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe, IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a briefing. That represents a 35 percent increase on the global toll during the first seven months of 2015, he said.
The latest figures come as continuous calls by human rights groups to provide safer passages are largely ignored. “We are well on track to exceeding the total number of known deaths that occurred in 2015,” Niels Frenzen, director of the Immigration Clinic at USC Gould School of Law, told Al Jazeera on Sunday. At least 3,120 refugees perished on the Mediterranean Sea between January 1 and July 31 of 2016, compared with 1,970 in the same period a year earlier – an increase of 58 percent, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In all of 2015, at least 3,771 refugees lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean.