The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been collecting data on “unsafe practices associated with the trafficking or transport of illegal migrants by sea” since 1999.
Two times a year it releases a biannual report regarding incidents which are reported to the IMO by Member Governments. The IMO describes the basis for the reporting as follows: “The Maritime Safety Committee, at its seventieth session (7 to 11 December 1998), in approving MSC/Circ.896 on Interim measures for combating unsafe practices associated with the trafficking or transport of illegal migrants by sea, invited Member Governments to promptly convey to the Organization reports on relevant incidents and measures taken to enable the updating or revising of the circular.”
In recent years (and perhaps since 1999), by far most of the reported incidents are provided by Greece. Italy and Turkey have only reported a small number of incidents in recent years. It is clear that most Member Governments do not routinely provide data for these biannual reports.
Even though a substantial number of incidents are not being reported and are therefore not documented in the reports, the biannual reports do contain an extensive amount of information dating back to 1999 regarding 2,030 incidents where 77,853 migrants were rescued or intercepted.
The reported data, when provided, include:
- Ship’s name or description
- Date and time of incident
- Position of incident
- Description of incident
- Measures taken
- Migrants (number and nationality; gender; adults/minor)
Click here for the Biannual Report issued 18 February 2010.
Click here for the Biannual Report issued 2 November 2009.