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2018 a particularly deadly year for migrants – aid workers

So far, 1,549 people have drowned marking what has become the world’s deadliest crossing.

FILE: A migrant is rescued from the Mediterranean sea by a member of Proactiva Open Arms NGO north of Libya on 3 October 2016. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Aid workers say 2018 has become a particularly deadly year for irregular migrants crossing from Africa into Europe.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says countries must concentrate on saving lives rather than fighting over who should take in the desperate people.

The number of migrants coming across the Mediterranean from Africa has dropped by 41% this year.

But so far, 1,549 people have drowned marking what has become the world’s deadliest crossing.

This means one in 18 people has died trying to get to Europe this year.

At the height of the season, the ratio was one in seven; this compares with one in 42 last year.

The UNHCR is calling for safe and legal migration routes with resettlement places established in Europe and family reunions made possible.