The International Organization for Migration says more than 3,400 migrants died or were recorded as missing as they tried to cross borders around the globe in this year's first five months — over 80 percent of them trying to reach Europe by sea.

The number is 12 percent above the 2,780 deaths or disappearances recorded during the same period in 2015. Over the whole of last year, the IOM estimated Wednesday that 5,400 migrants died or were reported missing worldwide.

Frank Laczko, director of the IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre in Berlin that tracks missing migrants, said the route between Northern Africa and Italy has become the world's most dangerous passage for migrants. In the last week of April alone, some 1,100 migrants died or went missing off Libya.