Rabat – 1104 illegal migrants have attempted to enter Spain during January, the North Observatory of Human Rights (ONDH) finds.
According to data collected in the field from border police authorities, the press and NGOs, ONDH said that almost one-third of migrants who attempted the crossing have managed to enter Spanish territory, while about five percent have lost their lives in the process.
In terms of nationality, about 90 percent of them were from sub-Saharan Africa, while three percent were Moroccan and the rest originated from other countries.
57 percent of these migrants chose to reach the Spanish coast by boat, while the others preferred to try to climb the border barriers of Ceuta and Melilla.
The number of migrants using the sea route from Morocco to Spain has more than tripled between 2016-1017.
Approximately 3,300 refugees crossed to Europe from Morocco in the first four months of 2017 compared to about a thousand in the same period in 2016.
A week ago, a group of Spanish relief professionals and civilians rescued 70 people at sea, adrift in the stretch of the Mediterranean between Morocco and Spain. In mid-2017, about 100 immigrants who departed from Morocco, including 14 women and four children, were rescued in the Alboran sea.
These numbers are expected to continue rising. “The flows arriving from Maghreb countries to Spain are very likely to increase in 2018,” the director of Europe’s border agency, Fabrice Leggeri told Reuters.