West and Central Africa — Irregular Migration Routes to Europe — Western African Atlantic Route (January - March 2024)




RO Dakar, RODakar-DataResearch@iom.int
Period Covered
Jan 01 2024
Mar 31 2024
  • Other
  • Flow Monitoring

Irregular migration is a complex, dynamic and fragmented phenomenon, and remains difficult to fully picture. Strengthening the understanding of migration routes, trends as well as migrant profiles is critical to protect migrants and support evidence-based policies. The International Organization for Migration's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) and Missing Migrants Project (MMP) collect data on the departures, arrivals, deaths and disappearances of migrants along migratory routes.

This document presents the resumption of migration from the coasts of West Africa to the Canary Islands (Spain). This route, already active in 2006, saw an increasing number of movements in 2023, and in the first months of 2024 there were considerable increases compared to the previous year. The risks, deaths and disappearances following shipwrecks are also on the rise along the Atlantic coasts. Between January and March 2024, 13,115 migrants reached the Canary Islands irregularly after crossing by boat from the coasts of West Africa, an increase of 502 per cent compared to 2023 (2,178 migrants).