The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), reported some 534 people killed or missing in attempted illegal immigration off the Tunisian coast in the first five months of 2023.
In its latest report on irregular migration, the Tunisian NGO states that during this period, the number of irregular Tunisian migrants who reached the Italian coast is estimated at 3432 migrants, 865 of whom are unaccompanied minors.
Thus, the arrivals of illegal migrants on the Italian coasts increased significantly at the end of May, compared to the same period of the years 2021 and 2022, which recorded respectively 1,986 and 2,283 migrants.
The number of minors who traveled illegally during this same period is around 457 in 2021 and 328 in 2022, notes the Forum.
Tunisia, some portions of the coastline of which are less than 150 km from the Italian island of Lampedusa, very regularly records attempts to leave migrants, mostly sub-Saharans, for Italy.
The central Mediterranean is the most dangerous migration route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration, which estimates that more than 18,000 migrants have died or disappeared there since 2014.