Since the beginning of the year 3,649 refugees and migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe, International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said.
The latest IOM report also reveals that by 16th October 2016, a total of 318,816 migrants and refugees had entered Europe by sea.
Some 168,689 people arrived in Greece and 145,128 in Italy during 2016.
The total is well below the number of arrivals at this point in 2015, when over 612,000 migrants and refugees had made the journey – more than three-quarters of them to Greece.
Latest figures released by Italy’s Ministry of Interior show that migrants arriving by sea this year represent an increase of 5.52 percent compared to last year in the same period.
It emerges from IOM report that during the first 16 days of October 2015, more than 68,000 migrants arrived in Greece by sea, the majority reaching the island of Lesvos (41,954), with smaller groups arriving in Samos (10,283) and Chios (6,393).
The so-called refugee crisis will only worsen with more refugees and migrants dying in the Mediterranean as Europe continues to become a fortress to keep people out.
Europe needs to understand that putting up barriers will never stop desperate people fleeing for their lives.