Central Med Statistics

A central task of our Palermo field office is the monitoring of the situation in the Central Mediterranean. Day by day, we record all information available to us on arrivals, rescues and push & pullbacks in the Central Mediterranean (Central Med). Thus, we counter the data of the Italian Ministry of the Interior and the UN with a civilian observation. In various statistics and tables we collect and process all information available to us through various channels and networks. In addition to nationalities, age and gender, we record any characteristics that may allow the tracing of individuals or groups. These clues can, for example, help families in their search for their loved ones. The figures are based on our research and should be read without guarantee. Since January 2021, we have regularly shared sections of our collected data from Central Med on social media at the end of each month. The categories we use in these are explained below for better understanding: unserer Außenstelle in Palermo ist die genaue Beobachtung der Situation auf dem zentralen Mittelmeer. 


  • "pushback" refers to the act of illegaly pushing a boat back into territorial waters after it has already left a country's responsible SAR (search-and-rescue) zone. In most cases, this involves pushing boats from international waters or European territorial waters back into the waters of a non-European third country.

  • "pullback" on the other hand means the forceful return of people attempting to flee within territorial waters.

  • Most of the data we collect regarding Push-& Pullback refers to the activities of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, as well as Tunisian and, less frequently, Algerian coast guards.

  • "Rescued by NGOs" refers to rescue operations carried out and financed by NGOs - civil society organizations. Rescue operations carried out by government coast guards or commercial vessels are not counted here. 

  • "dead or missing“ refers only to the cases documented in the respective period, the actual number is probably much higher.