Acting against oblivion: a plea for procedures to identify missing migrants


This is the number of people – men, women and children – who have gone missing in the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2023. In ten years, more than 28,000 people have disappeared at sea, according to the low estimates of NGOs. The real number is much higher.

On the tenth anniversary of the shipwreck on 3 October, which claimed the lives of 368 migrants near the coast of Lampedusa, EuroMed Rights pursues its analysis by publishing a series of country fact sheets illustrating the (weak) capacities of the Maghreb countries in terms of identifying and searching for people who have disappeared and/or died in the Mediterranean*.

These procedures are of vital importance both for the dignity of migrants and to help the families of victims during the difficult healing and mourning process. The lack of procedures only causes further pain for the relatives and families of the missing persons.

To ensure that these tragic deaths are not compounded by the loss of loved ones, EuroMed Droits, with the support of the Swiss government, is embarking on a new project to inform and raise awareness among the relevant authorities of the importance of putting in place procedures to identify and trace missing/deceased migrants.

* Faced with the lack of information on the situation in Libya, EuroMed Rights decided not to publish data on this country.

Find more about the existing processes to manage bodies in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia by clicking on the links below:

Cartographie Migration – Morocco

Cartographie Migration – Algeria

Cartographie Migration – Tunisia