At least 44 people have drowned off the Moroccan coast while trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands, according to a report published by the non-governmental organization Caminando Fronteras.
The organization said that they drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of Tarfaya in Morocco during the past week, TheSchengen.com reported.
According to Caminando Fronteras, the bodies of five women and two infants were taken to the beach and taken to the El-Ayoun morgue in Western Sahara, while the rest of the people who lost their lives are still missing.
The organization’s head, Helena Malino, said the migrants who lost their lives were among the 61 people who took a boat to reach Spain’s Canary Islands, about 100 kilometers from Tarfaya.
According to the report of the Spanish news agency EFE, the majority of the victims were from Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea.
The Spanish authorities announced earlier that the number of migrants trying to reach Spain illegally represented an increase.
Figures previously provided by Info Migrants revealed that more than 4,115 migrants arrived in Spain during January of this year, which is a 42.3 percent increase over the figures for the same period one year ago.
The same source revealed that a total of 4,202 migrants arrived in Spain illegally by land and sea in January 2022, a 30.6 percent increase compared to the figures for the same period in 2021.
Figures provided by migrant rights NGO Walking Borders revealed that 4,403 migrants lost their lives trying to enter Spain in 2021.
In addition, the numbers provided by the organization were higher compared to those provided by the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the highest tally since the group began collecting data.
According to figures provided by Walking Border, the majority of people who died last year trying to reach Spain came from North Africa.
The report revealed that “the policies of deterrence and discord imposed by Europe and Morocco on the routes of the western Mediterranean have steadily pushed migration flows towards the Atlantic, making the Canary Islands the main destination for people on the move.”
Figures provided by the same source also showed that hundreds of women and children also lost their lives during their journey.