Victims of the necrofrontier 2018-2022. For memory and justice


The data presented here are the product of exhaustive monitoring carried out by Ca-minando Fronteras 365 days a year. Working with migrant communities, rescue services, family networks and human rights defenders on the ground, we collect, confirm and systematise the necessary data.

This data collection work forms part of our Observatory of Human Rights on the Western Euro-African Border. We founded the observatory in 2014 after receiving alerts from vessels in distress on different migration routes from Africa to the Spanish State over a seven-year period. The observatory began to operate in 2015.

Although we publish annual reports on the data collected by the Observatory, this report updates the number of victims on the western Euro-African border from 2018 to 2022 (up to 30 November 2022) and presents a diachronic analysis that offers insight into the impact of necropolitics over a longer period of time.

Who are we investigating for and why? The knowledge that we produce is intended for use within migrant communities by family members looking for their missing loved ones. Our priority is to develop a plan to defend life at the border in partnership with people on the move and victims’ families. The numbers and stories presented in this report play an essential role as we work towards greater respect for human rights. Memory must remain with us, lighting the way to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition.

Download the report here, or scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it in Spanish, French and Catalan.




    The words we use to describe the world matter. This glossary contains definitions of the theoretical concepts underpinning our actions and analyses, the names of international organisations and explanations of the legal terms relating to border control and their impact on the lives of migrant people and their loved ones.


    At Ca-minando Fronteras, we not only count victims, we also recount their stories. We meticulously count the number of boats that are shipwrecked while carrying migrant people and the numbers of people falling victim to borders. We recount the life stories and circumstances that prompt thousands of people to migrate in dangerous, vulnerable conditions and the searches launched by their families when they go missing. In doing so, we analyse what is happening at the western Euro-African border in depth and identify the structural factors that affect migrant people’s right to life.

    Our situated, senti-thinking research methodology draws on quantitative and qualitative tools, which are updated and reworked every day as part of our actions to defend life at the borders. The contents of this report are the product of careful monitoring, allowing us to identify the structural causes and systemic effects of migration control policies at the western Euro-African border.


    11,522 people lost their lives between 2018 and 2022 (data updated on 1 January 2023) while migrating towards the Spanish State. The loss of their lives and disappearance of most of their bodies is no coincidence. In this report, we focus on the measures applied as part of a structured necropolitics that is sustained over time. As we count the victims, we linger on migrant women (1,272) and children (377) and shine a spotlight on the specific violence and criminalisation that they suffer at the borders, much of which goes unnoticed.


    The people who lost their lives over the last five years came from 31 different countries and had taken very different migration routes. Some had travelled up to 10,000 kilometres, while others had just left their homes to catch a boat and were never seen again. We list the different forms of institutional violence, persecution and coercion that they encounter as they migrate and the repressive practices employed against migrants seeking to enter by land, sea and air by transit countries bordering the Spanish State.


    The period covered by the report is highly relevant as it saw a shift towards more dangerous migration routes and new border control dynamics that have led to rising numbers of victims. In this section, we present the numbers of victims on each sea (Algerian, Alboran Sea, Strait of Gibraltar and Canary Islands routes) and land route (the borders at Ceuta and Melilla) and explore the different border control policies in place, which are closely related to search and rescue practices aimed at saving lives.


    Are there any repetitive patterns that allow us to identify the factors causing deaths at the western Euro-African border?

    If so, can we analyse the degree to which these factors recur? Can we identify systematic structures and policies that undermine the right to life?

    Does the exercise of power at the border in the form of discrimination based on ethnic origin, class, race, gender and religion establish patterns that determine who will live and who will die when crossing the border?

    These are the questions that guide our analysis of the causes and circumstances surrounding the 625 tragedies we monitored on the western Euro-African border.


    To the memory of the victims of the necroborder, their families and their friends. For truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition. We will continue to count.


Download the full report here: Victims of the necrofrontier 2018-2022. For memory and justice (English version)

Descarga el informe completo aquí: Informe ‘Víctimas de la necrofontera 2018-2022. Por la memoria y la justicia‘ (versión en Castellano)

Téléchargez le rapport complet ici : Victimes de la nécrofrontière 2018-2022. Pour la mémoire et la justice (version française)

Descarrega l’informe complet aquí: Víctimes de la necrofrontera 2018-2022. Per la memòria i la justícia (versió catalana)