The German government has revealed how many young refugees were denied asylum following a parliamentary inquiry launched by the Greens. The government has said the minors failed to meet asylum requirements.
Local media reported Wednesday that among the minors deported from Germany last year were 275 Afghans, 58 Syrians, 39 minors from Eritrea and 36 from Iraq.
The "Rheinische Post" newspaper quoted the German government of saying that the minors were denied asylum because "they failed to meet asylum requirements."
The figures also revealed that 45,224 unaccompanied migrants reside in Germany. Around 89 percent of all asylum claims by young people were successful last year, with 98 percent of Syrian minors and 71 percent of Iraqi minors reportedly granted asylum.
However, claims from Morocco and Libya remained largely unsuccessful. The German government has named Morocco a "safe country of origin," which makes approval of asylum applications from the country extremely difficult. The European Union has also recently looked to Libya to reduce the number of people attempting to reach Europe from the north African country.
Germany's Green party issued a stinging critique directed at the federal authorities over their handling of deported migrant children. Beate Walter-Rosenheime, the Greens' speaker for youth policy, said the deportations were "a large-scale mistreatment of the children's well-being." Even if a minor does not receive asylum in Germany, authorities should check if an applicant has relatives in Germany before beginning the deportation process.
The Greens' speaker for migrant policy, Luise Amtsberg, said: "Almost 90 percent of unaccompanied minors receive protective status. This demonstrates how urgent the need for support is among young people and that the reason for their fleeing is fully justified."
Young refugees face strict regulations in Germany
Under-18 Migrants arriving in Germany face a myriad of laws and regulations before they can be granted asylum.
New arrivals are taken into care by child protection services, where their age is determined - sometimes using bone analysis if no doubts are raised concerning an applicant's age.
All German states have a quota of how many migrant minors they should take in. The quota largely depends on the state's financial standing.
By law, minors should be sent to a state that has yet to meet its quota. In practice, this is rarely the case, as the level of intake among states varies enormously. Bremen, for example, has taken in almost three times the required number of young migrants, while Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania has taken in 76 percent of its designated quota.
Merkel toughens deportation stance
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has toughened her stance on rejected asylum-seekers following the December terror attack in Berlin. A Tunisian migrant, scheduled to be deported, killed 12 people and injured almost 50 after he drove a truck into a Christmas market.
Last month, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere outlined plans to overhaul the country's asylum policy and security apparatus, expanding the federal government's powers at the expense of individual states.
One of the key changes proposed would see federal authorities take over the operation of deportation centers from the states.