More than one million migrants enter Europe in 2015

More than one million migrants enter Europe in 2015

Syrian refugees arrive on the shores of Lesvos island (Photo: Flickr / Freedom House)

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – More than one million migrants have entered Europe in 2015, the International Organization for Migration said in a report Tuesday, a symbolic milestone driven by what has been a turbulent year in the Middle East.

On Monday IOM reported total arrivals to Europe at roughly 1,005,504, with just 3% of the individuals coming by land and the rest by sea. This marks the highest migration flow since World War II and a fourfold increase on the total migrants entering Europe last year.

Among those traveling by sea, 3,695 are known to have drowned or remain missing after attempting to cross the sea in overcrowded, dingy boats, according to IOM figures.

Half of the refugees crossing the Mediterranean were from Syria, 20% were from Afghanistan and 7% from Iraq.

“We know migration is inevitable. It’s necessary and it’s desirable,” IOM director-general William Lacy Swing said, adding, “Migration must be legal, safe and secure for all — both for the migrants themselves and the countries that will become their new home.”

Entries via six European Union nations — Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus — are covered in the report.

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