Current statistics put the number of deaths in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea at 23,000.

But the real figure may be much higher.

This is according to the International Organization for Migration, IOM, a United Nations Migration Agency responsible for tracking these numbers.

IOM said on Monday, in a new report on migrant deaths and disappearances worldwide through its Berlin-based Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, that many migrants’ deaths were never recorded.

“Since 2014, more than 23,000 migrant deaths and disappearances have been recorded globally by the IOM. The real number is likely to be much higher as many deaths are never recorded,” IOM said.

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The report is the third volume in IOM’s Fatal Journeys series, which focuses on how to improve data on missing migrants to prevent further deaths, and to enable the families left behind to learn more about the fate of their relatives.

“Many families continue to spend years living in limbo, not knowing whether a loved one is alive or dead as so few bodies of missing migrants are identified,” the UN migration agency said.

‘Fatal Journeys Volume 3: Improving Data on Missing Migrants’ is published in two parts with part one of the report released on Monday, examining the challenges of collecting data on missing migrants.

Part two of the report to be released in November, provides in-depth regional analysis of the data currently available, IOM said.

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