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UNHCR Europe Monthly Report (October 2018)



Between 1 January and 31 October, 104,300 refugees and migrants arrived via the three Mediterranean routes to Europe compared to almost 157,700 arrivals in the same period in 2017. This marks a 34% reduction from the previous year’s arrival figures, showing a continued declining trend of the overall arrivals numbers to Europe. So far in 2018, October has seen the most arrivals in a single month with over 16,310 people reaching Europe. Figures from previous years show that arrivals in October tend to peak in comparison with other autumn months. Most confirmed arrivals so far this year have been to Spain, with some 55,340 arriving by land and sea compared to almost over 40,500 in Greece and some 21,960 in Italy. Primary nationalities amongst arrivals in 2018 so far were Syrians,
Guineans, and Moroccans.

CYPRUS: Some 460 people arrived to Cyprus by sea thus far in 2018.
Syrians make up the majority of those arriving to Cyprus.

GREECE: Nearly 41,300 refugees and migrants have arrived by land and sea in Greece with 67% arriving by sea so far in 2018. Arrivals by land and sea this year have increased by around 44% compared to those who arrived in the same period in 2017. Arrivals in October increased slightly with some 4,100 people reaching Greek shores compared to 4,000 from the previous month, keeping a consistent average daily number of 130 sea arrivals. Some 2,650 people were intercepted or rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean in October with an average daily rate of 95. At the Greek land border in Evros, a total of over 13,700 people have crossed into Greece this year. Some 1,500 crossing during October are on par with the 1,400 whom arrived through Evros the previous month.

The three top countries of origin of arrivals by sea so far during 2018 were Syrians (27%), Afghans (25%) and Iraqis (19%).

ITALY: Almost 21,960 refugees and migrants have arrived in Italy by sea in 2018 by the end of October. Continuing the downwards trend of arrivals compared to the same period in 2017 (over 111,390), just over 1,000 refugees and migrants reached Italian shores in October, an 83% decrease compared to the 5,980 arrivals in October last year. The low numbers in September (950) and October (1,000) are comparable with the just over 1,000 arrivals in both February and March this year. These are the lowest numbers since 1,100 in May 2013. In October, 34% of arrivals by sea to Italy departed from Tunisia and 30% from Turkey. Only two groups from Libya of 9 and 69 have arrived by sea in Italy in October. Among the various nationalities arriving by sea in Italy in October the majority were from Tunisia (22%), followed by Eritrea (14%), and Sudan (7%). As of 31 October, over 3,330 unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) reached Italian shores.

SPAIN: A total of 53,100 refugees and migrants have reached Spain both by land and sea so far in 2018, representing an increase of 150% compared to the same period in 2017 (over 21,200). Arrivals by land and sea to Spain in October were the highest so far this year (10,650) with an average daily arrival number of 340. This is an increase by 160% compared to the 4,000 refugees and migrants who arrived to Spain in October last year. The five most common nationalities of sea arrivals in Spain are Moroccans (21%), Guineans (21%), Malians (16%), Ivoirians (8%) and Algerians (7%).

WESTERN BALKANS: As of 31 October, some 20,500 refugees and migrants were reported to have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina including some 4,300 who arrived this month – the increasing arrivals trend continues with a 16% increase from arrival figures in September (3,710). Among those, 30% were from Pakistan followed by Iranians (21%), Afghans (19%), Syrians (8%) and Iraqis (8%). It is estimated that there are approximately 6,800 asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants currently in the country. Many attempt to move onwards through Croatia and presently there is an estimated 1,450 accommodated in shelters throughout the country. In October, of the estimated 3,820 refugees and migrants assisted in Serbia, according to Serbian authorities, 3,410 were accommodated in 15 different governmental Reception/ Transit or Asylum Centres, a slight decrease compared to over 3,900 accommodated in September.

UKRAINE: UNHCR in close coordination with NGO Partner Right to Protection (R2P) launched the eastern Ukraine Checkpoint Monitoring online dashboard. The Online Dashboard provides an overview of latest trends related to people crossing the contact line, their profile and related protection concerns. In east Ukraine, the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) recorded around 37,000 ceasefire violations, twice as much as the number reported the previous month. In October, UNHCR and its partner surveyed over 2,500 people mostly in the settlements along the ‘Contact Line’.

Dead and Missing: So far 1,987 people have died or gone missing while trying to reach Europe by sea which is a 30% decrease compared to the number of deaths in the same period in 2017 (2,848). Most deaths occurred along the Central Mediterranean route (1,250 or 63%) followed by the route to Spain (560 or 28%). The number of deaths in the Western Med (560) and Eastern Med (170) have both more than doubled compared to those in the same period last year (140 and 40, respectively).

The death toll along land routes has increased, with at least 105 refugees or migrants known to have died so far this year at or near European borders, compared to the 75 deaths in the whole of 2017.