Illegal immigration into Europe in numbers
4 October 2013 Last updated at 17:06 BST
Up to 300 people are feared dead after a boat carrying African migrants off the coast of Italy's island of Lampedusa caught fire and capsized.
Bad weather has hampered the search for the 200 migrants still unaccounted for.
At least 19,142 people have died trying to reach Europe's shores since 1988, according to Fortress Europe.
The BBC's Serena Chaudhry examines the migratory patterns of African migrants trying to enter Europe.