West and Central Africa — Irregular Migration towards Europe: Irregular Migration to the Canary Islands (January — June 2020)

Regional Office Dakar, RODakar-DataResearch@iom.int
Period Covered
Jan 01 2020 -
Jul 31 2020
  • Flow Monitoring
  • Event Tracking


This document highlights the resumption of migration from the coasts of West Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands since 2018. While this route was active in the past, notably in 2006, a growing number of migrants have been taking this route in recent years in the hopes of reaching Europe. With a very low success rate, few manage to reach the Canary Islands. Between January and July 2020, 3,269 individuals reached the Canary Islands irregularly after crossing by boat from the coasts of West Africa (Western African Route). This represents a 578 per cent increase in arrivals when compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of boats observed crossing to the Canary Islands grew by 144 per cent during that same period.