Traveling to Europe on the Mediterranean is considered deadly due to the many reports of deaths recorded on the sea.
Thousands of young Africans have over the past decade drowned during boat disasters with many of them not lucky to be rescued.
But it is not the journey on the sea itself that is deadlier, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The UN agency said while the Mediterranean Sea remains a deadly route for migrants attempting to reach Europe, the journey to reach the Mediterranean coast is deadlier.
Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR’s special envoy for the central Mediterranean, told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that around twice as many migrants die crossing Africa than crossing the Mediterranean.
“We assume that at least two times as many people probably die on their way to the Mediterranean Sea as in the sea itself,” he said.
The actual number could “also be much higher,” he said; exact numbers could not be provided. “But it is a tragedy.”
Causes of deaths
The German newspaper reported that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has identified transportation accidents, dehydration, violence, starvation and illness as the primary causes of death via land routes in 2018.
A new study last month by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) revealed that African migrants who use illegal routes to travel to Europe would still do it again despite the dangers.
There have been reports of many migrants dying in the Mediterranean and the desert as well as being sold into slavery in north Africa.
But despite these dangers many of these irregular migrants say they would still make such journeys again without regretting.
Almost all the 2,000 irregular migrants surveyed in the report had experienced danger on their journey to Europe.
But only two per cent of the 2,000 interviewed said that greater awareness of the risks would have caused them to stay home.