• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 549 Fatalities reported [?]



The Central Mediterranean route has been one of the most active and dangerous routes for people crossing to Europe by sea. It stretches from sub-Saharan Africa – mainly Libya and Tunisia but also Algeria, to Italy or Malta.  

The number of people arriving to Italy peaked in 2016 (over 180,000 people arriving by sea) and declined in the following years. In 2021, Italy has recorded over 67,450 arrivals, compared to around 34,150 in 2020 and 11,470 in 2019, showing an increase in the number of new arrivals since 2019. Political instability in Libya can be a factor allowing smugglers to organise crossings. Over 70% of the people embarking on the journey are men. The main countries of origin in 2022 are Bangladesh (29.8%), Egypt (19.2%), and Tunisia (12.6%).? 

Over 18,950 people were reported missing in the Central Mediterranean since 2014. More than 1,550 people have died in 2021 compared to about 1,000 people during 2020 – an increase by over 55%. The Libyan coast guard stopped over 32,400 migrants at sea and returned them to Libya in 2021, compared to over 11,800 migrants in 2020.? 

Mixed migration movements include refugees fleeing from persecution and conflict in their home countries, as well as migrants looking for better economic and social opportunities in Europe. Protection, food, and health concerns are high among migrants and asylum seekers. Human rights violations are reported in detention centres. Many migrants become victim of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, mainly in Libya.? Undocumented migrants arriving by boat to Maltese shores risk up to 12 months of detention, and migrants who do not apply for asylum, or whose asylum claims are rejected, can be detained for up to 18 months. Since 2021, some improvements have been implemented by the Maltese Government in regard to the detention of undocumented migrants. Open and closed facilities have been set up for the reception of migrants and asylum seekers, and one controversial detention facility has been closed. ?

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.