West and Central Africa — Irregular Migration Routes to Europe — West African Atlantic Route (January — September 2022)

RO Dakar, RODakar-DataResearch@iom.int
Period Covered
Jan 01 2022
Sep 30 2022
  • Other
  • Flow Monitoring


This document presents key figures relating to maritime migration from the coasts of West Africa to Mauritania, Morocco and the Canary Islands (Spain). This route, already active in 2006, has seen exponential growth in movements since its 'reactivation' in 2019. The risks, deaths and disappearances following shipwrecks are also on the rise along the West African Atlantic Route (WAAR).

Between January and September 2022, 12,506 individuals reached the Canary Islands irregularly after crossing by boat from the coasts of West Africa, a decrease of 5 per cent i.e. 612 people per compared to 2021 (13,118)(3). This is the first time since the increase in crossings was first recorded in 2019 that this number has shrunk. Nevertheless, the risks and hazards along the West African Atlantic Route remain, and 32 shipwrecks were recorded along that route in 2022, leading to the death or disappearance of 350 migrants.