The general lack of clarity around the correct procedure and children’s sense that their claim was not progressing were key in shaping their decision to leave the primary reception centres and go elsewhere.
Since the start of 2017, nearly 37,000 refugees and migrants, 13 per cent of whom are children, have reached Italy by sea via the Central Mediterranean. At least 849 people have been lost at sea along the route since January.
Around 100 people are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on 22 December. These latest tragedies bring the number of casualties in the Mediterranean this year to over 5,000. This is the worst annual death toll ever.