Tunisian migrants who reached Italy down 4.5% in 2023

The number of migrants with Tunisian nationality reaching Italy in 2023 slightly decreased from the previous year, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) reported.

A new report from the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) found that “17,322 irregular migrants” with Tunisian nationality reached Italy’s coasts in 2023, “including over 4,000 minors.” The data was released as part of FTDES’ annual report on protests, irregular migration, suicide rates, suicide attempts and violence, on February 13.

Islam Gharbi, a member of FTDES’ department on migration, stressed that the number of sea arrivals from Tunisia dropped by 4.5% in 2023 compared to 2022 (18,148 migrants), while the number of undocumented migrants in the same year leaving Tunisian ports, but from other countries originally, increased by 65% overall compared to 2022.

In that year, the country took over from Libya as the most popular jumping-off point for migrants trying to reach Europe over the Mediterranean.

Number of dead, missing migrants on the rise, report says
According to Gharbi, the number of migrants who were reported dead or missing on Tunisia’s coasts increased in 2023 to reach 1,313 people of different nationalities, while the number of migrants who have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean has risen to 1,793.

In 2023, Tunisian authorities foiled over 6,000 “irregular migration attempts” and arrested 80,000 irregular migrants on Tunisian coasts, 18% of whom were Tunisian citizens, the official said.

FTDES data revealed that, in January 2024, 258 Tunisian migrants reached Italy’s coasts, down nearly 25% from the same month in 2023. Moreover, in January, a reported Tunisian authorities and 395 migrants foiled 26 attempts of irregular migration were prevented from reaching the Italian coasts from Tunisia, Gharbi concluded.


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