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Migrant interceptions at sea by North African authorities 2019-2021

Number of migrant interceptions in the Mediterranean by North African authorities in the 1st half of the years from 2019 to 2021

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Release date

July 2021


Algeria, Europe, Libya, Tunisia

Survey time period

H1 2019 to H1 2021

Supplementary notes

The source specifies that: "North African authorities do not disaggregate their publicly available data by interceptions and rescues and this puts limitations on the analysis of the data. A rescue at sea is defined as “an operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs, and deliver them to a place of safety” (IOM, 2019). An interception is understood as “any measure applied by a State, either at its land or sea borders, or on the high seas, territorial waters or borders of another State, to: (i) prevent embarkation of persons on an international journey; (ii) prevent further onward international travel by persons who have commenced their journey; or (iii) assert control of vessels where there are reasonable grounds to believe the vessel is transporting persons contrary to international or national maritime law. In relation to the above, the person or persons do not have the required documentation or valid permission to enter.” IOM, 2019."
"The term 'interception' is used to refer to maritime operations of North African authorities, however some of the figures for Tunisian and Algerian interceptions may include rescues."

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