More than 3,000 migrants have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean – the highest total on record. The official figure for 2014 so far is 3,072, though some claim the true number is three times as high.
Across the world, the official figure is 4,077, meaning three in every four of those who perished were trying to get to Europe. Since 2000, 40,000 migrants are said to have perished worldwide – more than half of them trying to get to Europe.
The worst incident of 2014 was the apparently deliberate ramming of a ship earlier this month by people traffickers off Malta, which resulted in 500 people being drowned.
The ship had been carrying Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese, and survivors said it was rammed after a ‘violent confrontation’ on board.