Arrivals: UNHCR data based on the agency’s border activities, Ministry of Interior and Police data. Data available at: http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/regional.php
Recorded deaths: IOM, collected on the basis of statistical data from governments and other agencies, as well as NGOs and media. Available at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int/mediterranean
(2) Migrant mortality rate
A mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a particular population per unit of time. To calculate the migrant mortality rate (MMR) which we can understand as a measure of the danger of crossing the sea, we calculate the proportion of migrants dying in relation to number of migrants who initially left (the sum of the live arrivals and deaths at sea). However, because neither all arrivals nor all fatalities are discovered in relation to illegalised migration – a phenomena that operates by definition in a partially hidden way –, the calculation of mortality based on recorded arrivals and deaths is by necessity incomplete (see Carling 2007). Even though at present the Mediterranean is a highly monitored space and we can thus expect most deaths and arrivals to be recorded in the sources we rely on (UNHCR for arrivals and IOM for deaths), to date, no satisfactory solution to this methodological issue has been applied to migrant mortality at sea. As such the mortality rate calculated for this study should be seen as indicative of tendencies of the increasing or decreasing danger of crossing rather than a highly reliable measure. For a synthetic discussion of the different sources of data on deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, see Spijkerboer and Last 2014. For a discussion of the methodological difficulties concerning the calculation of mortality, see Heller 2015.
(3) Interception/rescue operations by actor in the central Mediterranean
Data source: Italian Coast Guard
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Recommended citation: Heller, Charles and Pezzani, Lorenzo. “Ebbing and Flowing: The EU’s Shifting Practices of (Non-)Assistance and Bordering in a Time of Crisis” Near Futures Online 1 “Europe at a Crossroads” (March 2016).