The Guardian today has printed in their newspaper a list of 34,361 refugees who are known to have died trying to make it to Europe. pic.twitter.com/IqqLD5rCCX— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) June 20, 2018
While parents at the southern United States border are being separated from their families, another migration crisis deserves to be given attention as well, as tens of thousands of immigrants attempting to reach Europe have reportedly died trying to get to the continent.
The Guardian reported on the total number of migrants who have died while traveling by sea, over land, in detention blocks, and in asylum centers. At least 34,361 migrants seeking refuge in Europe have died since the early 1990s, according to research by Dutch nonprofit group United for Intercultural Action (UNITED).
While most of the deaths — close to 27,000 — occurred on water, a sizable amount of those who died during their journeys to Europe occurred on land. Some of them met violent ends, with around 600 migrants being killed directly at the hands of others. Around 400 chose to end their own lives.
Even if they reached Europe, the trek was not done. UNITED reports that more than 500 individuals died during the asylum process, including while inside detention centers, prisons, and other types of camps on European soil.
Most troubling of all is that this list of more than 34,000 deaths is likely incomplete — records simply aren’t available to researchers to account for all of the deaths that occurred.
Remarkably, The Guardian chose to print all of the names of known migrants who have died in its printed paper on Wednesday, which coincides with World Refugee Day.
In today's paper we've printed a list of 34,361 refugees known to have died trying to make it to Europe. In the absence of official data, an activist group has been gathering details behind the defining crisis of our times: https://t.co/VmiEuw2RwU #worldrefugeeday pic.twitter.com/RP2xfz0p9p— The Guardian (@guardian) June 20, 2018
The newspaper and the organization’s joint effort to list the names of known refugees who have died while seeking better lives in Europe must be recognized and commended. Through this work, hopefully the nations of Europe can see that their policies, their insistence on making the trip difficult for these people, results in deaths that affect tens of thousands of families.
A more reasoned approach to immigration — in the United States and in Europe — must be considered. Human lives are depending on it.