Central Mediterranean

Central Mediterranean

This route is from North Africa across the Mediterranean to Italy and Malta. Increasingly Lampedusa, a very small Italian island between Italy and Libya became the destination, and some arrived on the Italian mainland in Calabria and Apulia. Libya,where migrant routes from the Horn of Africa and West Africa meet, is often the hub. Numbers have varied over the years – but spiked with the civil unrest in Tunisia and Libya in 2011, dipped when the Gaddafi regime collapsed, and spiked again in 2013; overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels capsized, drowning hundreds. There was a dramatic rise in numbers in 2014 and UNHCR cite 3,500 lost at sea that year. Migrants on this route are from Syria, Eritrea, Nigeria and sub-Saharan countries.

Numbers of migrants: 2015 January-July: 91,302 (2014: 170,760)