Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe: Accompanied, Unaccompanied and Separated: Overview of Trends (January - December 2018)
Arrivals to Europe between January and December 2018
Between January and December 2018, some 30,085 children arrived in Greece, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria, of whom 12,717 (42%) were unaccompanied or separated children (UASC) . Arrival of children overall in 2018 dropped by 7% compared to 2017 (32,963).
Between January and December 2018, 17,1233 children arrived to Greece by land and sea, including 2,369 (14%) unaccompanied and separated children4. Despite the overall decrease of child arrivals in Europe in 2018, the number of children who arrived in Greece increased by 55% compared to 2017 (11,032) with the proportion of unaccompanied and separated children remaining the same.
The majority of children, including UASC, arriving to Greece were from Afghanistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Pakistan.
Among the 4,278 children who arrived in Italy between January and December 2018, 3,536 (83%) were unaccompanied or separated. While the proportion of unaccompanied and separated children remains comparably high to previous years, this is a 78% decrease from the 15,779 unaccompanied and separated children who arrived in 2017. This is in line with the sharp decrease in sea crossings through the Central Mediterranean route since July 2017. Most unaccompanied and separated children originated from Tunisia, Eritrea, Guinea, Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan.
Between January and December 2018, 891 children claimed asylum on arrival in the country, a 28% decrease compared to 2017 (1,145). At the same time, the proportion of children arriving alone was higher- 52% in 2018 as compared to 38% in 2017. Most children were from Afghanistan, Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Between January and December 2018, 7,793 children arrived by land and sea. Among those, 6,331 were unaccompanied or separated who had mainly arrived by sea. This is a two-fold increase compared to 2017, when a total of 3,880 children arrived. Moreover, the proportion of unaccompanied and separated children among these also increased from 63% in 2017 to 81% in 2018.
Most children came from Morocco, Guinea, the Syrian Arab Republic, Algeria and Mali.