As many as 4,000 Algerian illegal migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe in 2018, Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui said on Saturday.
Some 36,000 others have gone missing in the past year while attempting to get to Europe, Bedoui said in his opening remarks to the National Forum on Illegal Migration held in Algiers.
The minister called for a comprehensive strategy to be created by all concerned parties, including the authorities, experts and civil society, in a bid to reach sustainable solution to illegal immigration.
The Algerian authorities have busted some 200 cases of illegal migration and human trafficking, in which 24 people were arrested, said Bedoui.
The minister also noted that social media has emerged as an efficient platform for human traffickers to promote and organize illegal migration to Europe.
Bedoui said that security services have managed to detect 51 pages on Facebook that promote illegal migration, and the operators are subject to trial over charges of human trafficking.
The forum, held on Saturday and Sunday, is held under the them of “the future of our youth, a shared responsibility.”
It serves as a platform for different actors to discuss, analyze and provide solutions and recommendations to help authorities to implement a comprehensive plan of action to fight illegal migration.