UNHCR Europe Monthly Report (January 2018)

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 31 Jan 2018 View Original


Between 1 and 31 January 2018, over 8,000 people arrived via the Mediterranean to Europe, an 11% increase compared to the same month in 2017 during which over 7,200 arrived. Arrivals duing January comprised of 19% children, 13% women and 68% men.

In Italy, the number of refugees and migrants arriving by sea in January (4,200) dropped 6% compared to last January (4,500), but the number crossing from Libya dropped approximately 25% with increased arrivals from Tunisia, Turkey and Algeria. Those crossing from Tunisia are almost all Tunisian nationals while only Algerians arrived from Algeria. While arrival numbers had dropped compared to last January, they had increased compared to December, including due to the rescue of three large vessels carrying around 300 persons each, mostly from Eritrea. Eritreans were the primary nationality of sea arrivals in January with nearly 1,200 persons (28% of all arrivals), with Tunisians (15%) and Pakistanis (7%, many of whom had crossed from Turkey), second and third. Some 200 Libyans had crossed the sea to Italy in January compared to just 1,200 in all of 2017.

In Greece, sea arrivals continued along the same patterns as in the second half of 2017 with Syrian and Iraqi families comprising most of those crossing the sea from Turkey. In January, Syrians (30%), Iraqis (29%) and Afghans (13%) were the primary nationalities arriving by sea. The number of people arriving on the islands dropped compared to December, including due to many days with no arrivals, potentially as a result of rough weather. Nevertheless, arrivals this year increased 17% compared to last January. At the land border, 565 refugees and migrants crossed the Evros River from Turkey, (compared to 353 in January last year). The body of one person believed to have been a refugee or migrant was also recovered contributing to a total of nine deaths since November along the route through the land border.

In Spain, nearly 2,200 people crossed the land and sea borders from North Africa in January, an increase of 58% compared to January 2017. As in 2017, most people crossed the sea although over 750 persons, mostly from Syria arrived via the land border. Arrivals in January were most commonly Guinean, Syrian and Moroccan.

According to official statistics of the Turkish Coast Guard, 1,640 individuals were rescued/intercepted at the sea borders of Turkey in January while o cial statistics of Turkish Land Forces state that over 2,400 individuals were intercepted at the western land borders of which 99% of the interceptions took place at Turkey’s land border with Greece.

Dead and missing: In January, an estimated 227 persons died or were presumed dead while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Of these 192 were believed to have died while crossing from Libya to Italy, including one incident in which 100 people were believed to have died and another in which 64 were believed dead, along with 35 while crossing to Spain. The rate of deaths amongst those crossing to Italy was one death for every 22 persons that reached Italy, and roughly one death for every 17 persons who crossed to Italy from Libya.

Relocation: According to the European Commission (EC), over 33,500 asylum-seekers had been relocated from Greece and Italy as of the end of January 2018, including 21,729 from Greece (out of 66,400 originally foreseen, 33% of the total) and 11,853 from Italy (out of 39,600 originally foreseen, 30% of the total).