DATA SOURCES AND TEMPLATES

Mortality data

A number of organisations have sought to compile databases on migrant fatalities (see Table 1). Initially, these databases used media reports as their primary source of information. In 2014, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) launched the Missing Migrants Project (MMP) homepage, featuring regularly updated information. The MMP constitutes a substantial improvement over previous efforts, because it is no longer based on media reports alone but also includes data from various state and non-state organizations receiving survivors at landing points along the Mediterranean coast. Recently, a team of researchers in Amsterdam has compiled the ‘Deaths at the Borders Database' covering migrant deaths from 1990-2013. This database relies on death certificates and records confirmed deaths only. Since not all drowned migrants are found and/or issued a death certificate, this last database should not be seen as an approximation of actual death toll.


Table 1: Sources of data on migrant mortality in the Mediterranean region

 

Name

Organization

Data source

Information provided

Period covered

Link

Fortress Europe

Fortress Europe

Media reports

Location, date, cause of death

1988-2016 (Feb)

Link

List of Deaths

United for Intercultural Action

Media reports

Location, date, cause of death, nationality (if available)

1993-2015

Link

The Migrants Files

Various media organizations

Media reports

Location, date, cause of death

2000-June 2016

Link

Missing Migrants Project

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Reception centers, national authorities, media reports

Location, date, cause of death nationality (if available)

2014-present

Link

Death at the Borders

VU University Amsterdam

Death certificates and official records

Location, date nationality, gender, age, cause of death

1990-2013

Link

Arrival data

Data on arrivals is collated and provided by various organizations, notably the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) (see below)

Both IOM and UNHCR provide systematic arrivals data since 2014, whereby the IOM statistics are partially based on information provided by the UNHCR. Frontex records 'detections of illegal border crossings' since 2009, based on data provided by member states. 

A comparison of the three data sets shows considerable differences, which can be ascribed to the different data sources and definitions used. Because Frontex provides the most consistent data on migrant arrivals in Europe for the longest time period, our study is based on the Frontex data.

 

Table 2: Sources of data on migrant (sea) arrivals in the Mediterranean region

 

Name

Organization

Data source

Information provided

Period covered

Link

Refugees/Migrants Emergency Response Mediterranean, Demographics

UNHCR

National authorities and local UNHCR offices

Location, date, nationality, gender,

age (minor/adult)

2014-present

Link

Migration Flows Europe

IOM

IOM and National Authorities, UNHCR

Location, date, nationality

2014-present

Link

Detections of illegal border crossings

Frontex

Data reported by Member States

Location, date, nationality

2009-present

Link

Data templates

Data preparation template (link)  

This template consists of a Stata do-file that does the following things:

  • It extracts and combines the data from excel spreadsheets provided by Frontex (arrivals) the IOM Missing Migrant project (dead and missing incidents, 2014-present) and the Migrant Files (dead and missing incidents, 2000-mid 2016)
  • It corrects a number of minor errors in the IOM database
  • It converts the data into monthly arrival and mortality statistics, split out by region of origin, and/or migration route
  • Stores the data in .csv format (for excel) and .dta format (for Stata).
  • To download the data directly, please click

Data analysis template (link)

This template consists of a Stata do-file that does the following things:

  • Calculate annual and monthly mortality rates (both absolute and relative) by route, and visualizes them using bar or line charts
  • Calculate annual and monthly arrivals, by route and by region / country of origin, and visualizes them using bar or line charts
  • Looks at arrivals and mortality in different SAR periods

For more information, please refer to our blog post or contact us:

elias.steinhilper@sns.it

rob.gruijters@sociology.ox.ac.uk