25. Juni 2018 · Kommentare deaktiviert für The List · Kategorien: Mittelmeer · Tags:

The Guardian | 25.06.2018

It’s 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe’s migrant bodycount

The deaths do not just occur at sea – but in detention blocks, asylum units and even town centres. Here’s how the List is put together

Download a PDF of the List here

by Niamh McIntyre and Mark Rice-Oxley, graphics by Niko Kommenda and Pablo Gutiérrez

The boat capsized in rough seas in March close to Italian territorial waters. A search and rescue operation fished bodies from the sea, dead and alive. Many of the ship’s passengers remained unaccounted for. No one knew quite how many.

It’s a grimly familiar tale that sounds like one of the tragedies that occurred on Europe’s southern rim over the past couple of years. But in fact, the events described occurred in 1997. Some details of these depressing disasters have changed over the years – then, the victims were Albanians, and it was the Adriatic, not the Mediterranean, that was the death trap.

But the similarities throw up a deeply uncomfortable truth: people have been dying while trying to get into Europe for more than 20 years.

These stories, and thousands of others, have been collated by the Dutch NGO United for Intercultural Action (UNITED) over the years, in a document – the List – which the Guardian is publishing today, on World Refugee Day.


What is the List?

Since 1993, activists at the network United for Intercultural Action have made a record of every reported instance in which someone has died trying to migrate into Europe. In all, 61 deaths were recorded in 1993; 3,915 were recorded in 2017.

What sources did they use?

The small team, based in the Netherlands, drew on reports in the local, national and international press, as well as NGO records. Though the vast majority of people died during en route for Europe – most of them at sea – the List also points out that hundreds died in custody, and hundreds more took their own lives. Most deaths recorded on the List are anonymous.

How many deaths have been recorded?

As of 5 May 2018, the figure stood at 34,361. But activists acknowledge that the List is neither definitive nor comprehensive. The real number is likely to be far higher, as many thousands of people will have died without trace during sea and land journeys over the years.

Why is the Guardian involved?

With work on the Windrush scandal and the award-winning New Arrivals series, the Guardian has demonstrated its commitment to exposing the social injustice faced by refugees and migrants. On Wednesday June 20, the Guardian becomes the first English-language daily to publish the List in full. It is also available as a PDF download on our website. This edition of The List is produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Liverpool Biennial.


Faced with a lack of official data, the activist group has gathered newspaper articles, NGO records and coastguard reports to collect details of the deaths of migrants travelling to Europe since the early 1990s. The List is revealing: deaths do not just occur at sea, but in detention blocks, asylum units and town centres. Some 400 have taken their own lives; more than 600 have died violently at the hands of others.

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