IOM Statement on the loss of lives near the coasts of the Bahamas

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) deeply deplores yet another human tragedy in Caribbean waters. On Sunday, 24 July, at least 17 people of Haitian origin died, and approximately 15 more disappeared when a boat capsized 11 kilometers off the coast of the island of New Providence (Bahamas). The Coast Guard of the Bahamas rescued 23 Haitian migrants and two Bahamians.

IOM expresses its profound condolences to the families and friends of those who died or disappeared in this incident.

This new tragedy brings to 138 the number of migrants who have lost their lives in the Caribbean so far this year, according to the IOM’s Missing Migrants Project. According to the same source, 481 people have died during their migratory journeys between January 2020 and today in this same region.

IOM reiterates its call to the governments of the region to strengthen international coordination to save lives, strengthen the responses to migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and enhance the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration.

The need for more action is echoed by a recent statement signed by the UN Network on Migration heads. It highlights the need to urgently take collective responsibility to save lives, search for and identify the missing and assist their families, in line with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and with relevant obligations under international law.

IOM stands ready to support governments in making migration safe and dignified, supporting migrants and communities in vulnerable situations, and addressing the adverse drivers of migration and displacement.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities