So far this year more than 231,000 people crossed the Mediterranean. While the trend of decreased arrivals through the Eastern Mediterranean continued during the month of June, with only 1,500 new arrivals in Greece, some 22,250 people were rescued in Italian waters during the same period of time.
While the proportion of children among new arrivals in Greece has decreased to 27 per cent in June (the majority being boys, 15 to 17 years old), these numbers remain relatively small and the overall proportion of children among refugees and migrants in south-east Europe remains stable, standing at around 40 per cent.
In June 2016, nearly 929 children played, learned and received psychosocial support in UNICEF-supported child-friendly spaces and child and family support hubs in Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. In addition, outreach teams in Turkey identified and referred 1,270 children at-risk.
Since the beginning of 2016, UNICEF capacity-building on child protection across Europe has reached some 720 frontline professionals.
UNICEF has also been providing continuous technical assistance and support to governments across south-east Europe on child nutrition and health, while some 50 babies and infants benefitted from direct infant and young child 2016 feeding services in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia.
The use of dangerous illegal routes by children, whether travelling alone or with their families, continuous reports of abuse and violence in accommodation centres and the placement of children in de-facto detention, as well as tighter national migration and asylum policies remain the major operational and political constraints for UNICEF humanitarian action.