On Monday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed that more than 20,000 migrants were rescued and returned to Libya during 2021.
A total of 20,257 refugees have been returned to Libya in 2021 so far, compared to a significantly lower number of 11,891 of those who were intercepted at sea throughout last year.
It noted that at least 380 migrants have died this year while trying to cross the sea route to Europe, while 629 remain missing.
“In 2020, some 381 people lost their lives on the central Mediterranean, and 597 more were reported missing,” according to the IOM.
The central Mediterranean route between Libya and Italy is one of the deadliest routes for migrants attempting to reach Europe. Last month, at least 57 migrants died, and 18 migrants were rescued after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast.