The number of migrants and
asylum seekers from Libya to the European Union has dropped, but the proportion
lost at sea has increased, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported on Monday. Reportedly, in the first half of the year, one person died for
every 18 who arrived in Europe via the central Mediterranean route. For the
same period in 2017 the figure was one death for every 42 arrivals. Since the
spike in deaths is linked to the decrease in search and rescue operations, the
statistics seemingly contradict the EU's claim that that the safety of refugees
and migrants remains its top priority.