According to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 53,568 migrants have lost their lives or gone missing along migration routes worldwide since 2014.1 This is only an estimate, as many deaths during migration go unrecorded.
Migrants' loss of life and the risk of going missing in transit are serious human rights issues. Migrants often undertake dangerous journeys, and many are subjected to exploitation, abuse and violence. Insufficient safe and regular migration pathways, as well as restrictive and security-focused migratory policies, force migrants to undertake these perilous journeys, with many losing their lives or going missing along the way.
States can prevent migrants' loss of life and the risk of going missing by implementing human rights-based policies and approaches. The international community has frameworks and tools—among them the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration—that are instrumental in preventing loss of life; assisting migrants in distress; searching and identifying those that go missing or die; and supporting families.
This side event is organized by Mexico, in partnership with OHCHR, IOM, ICRC, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and Quaker United Nations Office. Its objectives are:
1) Obtain an evidence-based understanding of the scale and challenges of this issue;
2) Discuss how human rights-based policies and approaches can help prevent migrants’ loss of life and the risk of going missing;
3) Assess what is being done on the ground to provide assistance to migrants in distress, search and identify those who have gone missing or have died, and support their families;
4) Exchange good practices and generate actionable recommendations to ensure that the human rights of all migrants are protected throughout migration journeys.
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