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Many Would-Be Migrants to EU Die Unrecorded, Study Finds

An officer carries a baby as migrants disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. With Libya's security rapidly deteriorating, the number of migrants who set out in smugglers boats from Libyan shores toward Italy has surged. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)
An officer carries a baby as migrants disembark from a tug boat after being rescued in Porto Empedocle, Sicily, southern Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)

 

(Reuters) – Almost all the migrants who died seeking a better life in Europe over the past quarter century vanished without trace, according to research released by a Dutch university on Tuesday.

Authorities in southern Europe found the bodies of just 3,188 would-be migrants between 1990 and 2013, yet about 1,800 people are thought to have drowned in the Mediterranean already so far this year.

The survey by VU University Amsterdam was the first in which researchers studied death registries in southern European countries to establish how many migrants had been recorded as dying in transit.

The numbers come as the European Union’s member states argue over how refugees entering the 28-nation bloc should be apportioned between countries. Britain opposes a quota system.

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