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UNHCR Europe Monthly Report (October 2017)

Situation Report
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Between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2017, 157,400 refugees and migrants arrived by sea and land to Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain and Cyprus only, including arrivals to the Canary Islands and by land to Spain). As a result of the reduced numbers of refugees and migrants crossing from Libya, the 5,800 sea arrivals in October was 79% lower than arrivals in October 2016. This October, sea arrivals from Tunisia comprised approximately 46% of sea arrivals in Italy and for the third successive month more refugees and migrants arrived in Greece by sea than those who crossed from Libya.

As of 31 October, over 111,400 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea in 2017, including over 13,500 unaccompanied and separated children (UASC), 13% of sea arrivals. With reduced arrivals since July, arrivals by sea in Italy so far in 2017 have dropped below those from the same period in 2016 by 30%. While just over 2,500 refugees and migrants crossed to Italy from Libya in October, a further 2,700 people crossed from Tunisia, almost all of whom were Tunisian nationals.
The primary nationalities that had arrived by sea in Italy in 2017 as of the end of October were Nigerians, Guineans, Ivorians, Bangladeshis, and Malians.

By the end of October almost 21,300 refugees and migrants have arrived in Spain by land and sea, a 92% increase compared to the same period last year, but modest numbers compared to arrivals at other entry points in recent years. Most arrivals in Spain this year (75%) have arrived by sea, but the number of arrivals via the land borders has also increased 15% compared to the same period last year. The majority of arrivals by sea in October continued to be Moroccans and Algerians while the largest group entering via the land borders was Syrians. The number of sea arrivals to Spain (16,000), is 144% higher than the same period last year.

As of 31 October 2017, over 24,100 refugees and migrants had reached Greek shores in 2017, compared to 169,790 arriving in the same period last year (85% reduction). Arrivals mainly originate from the Syrian Arab Republic (40%) and Iraq (20%). Most arrivals in October have been to Lesvos (55%), followed by Chios (26%), Kos (5%), and Samos (5%). In addition to the sea arrivals, an estimated 4,300 people have arrived this year at the Evros Greek-Turkish land border, based on provisional data as of 31 October 2017 with over 800 crossing via this route in October, including a number of Syrian families. These figures are 20% fewer in comparison to the 1,000 who arrived in September 2017 but nearly double when compared with recorded arrivals in October 2016 (477). Arrivals via the Turkey-Greece land border are not subject to the provisions of the EU-Turkey Statement.

According to Turkish authorities, the Turkish Coast Guard (TCG) intercepted or rescued 2,931 people during October, contributing to a total of 18,400 in 2017 of persons mostly headed to Greece.
The largest group intercepted or rescued at sea in 2017 continues to be Syrians. Since the beginning of the year, some 24,131 persons were intercepted by Land Forces at the Greek and Bulgarian land borders, with over 22,171 (or 91%) intercepted at the Greek land border since the beginning of 2017. Apprehensions at BulgariaTurkey and Greece-Turkey borders in October were a total of 3,436.

Dead and missing: As of 31 October, an estimated 2,811 people have died or gone missing while trying to reach Europe by sea via the three Mediterranean routes in 2017 (one death for every 55 people crossing), compared to 3,981 in the same period in 2016, a 29% decrease. Over 94% of deaths this year have been as refugees and migrants have tried to cross from North Africa to Italy. In October, more than 130 people are believed to have died at sea. Over 40 people are believed to have died in a collision between a Tunisian Navy vessel and a boat headed to Italy on 9 October while a further 68 are believed to have drowned in a separate incident on 3 October off the Libyan coast.

Relocation: According to the European Commission (EC), 31,502 asylum-seekers have been relocated from Greece and Italy as of 3 November 2017, including 21,237 from Greece (out of 66,400 originally foreseen, 32 per cent of the total) and 10,265 from Italy (out of 39,600 originally foreseen, 26 per cent of the total). In Greece, no person who has arrived after 20 March 2016 has been referred and submitted for relocation.

Resettlement: To date in 2017, 19,58712 persons have been resettled to Europe.

Returns: In October, 57 people (12 Syrian, 20 Pakistani, 5 Egyptian, 2 Iraqi, 3 Moroccan, 2 Iranian, 3 Congolese, 1 Ivory Coast, 1 Sri Lanka, 6 Algerian, 2 Nigerian) were returned from Greece to Turkey on the basis of the EU-Turkey Statement. The total number of people returned in accordance with the EU-Turkey Statement is 1,424 as of 31 October 2017.