IOM calls for action to save migrants lives on International Migrants Day

GENEVA: International Organization for Migration (IOM) has called for protecting the rights of migrants, saying that the number of immigrants who died while trying to reach other countries, has reached a record level in the current year.

On the International Migrants Day, which was marked on Thursday, OIM’s Director General William Lacy Swing called for urgent action to save the lives of migrants and stop smugglers from exploiting their desperation to extort huge sums of money.

IOM data shows that the number of migrants dying on dangerous journeys in the hope of finding better lives for themselves and their families, is rising.

Some 5,000 migrants (4,868) lost their lives this year at sea or in remote deserts or mountains. This makes 2014 the deadliest year on record, with double the number of last year’s deaths, according to IOM.

The highest death toll was in the Mediterranean, where over 3,000 people drowned after embarking on unseaworthy boats.