Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe: Accompanied, Unaccompanied and Separated: Overview of Trends (January - June 2019)

Arrivals to Europe between January and June 2019

Between January and June 2019, 8,236 children arrived in Greece, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria, of whom 2,794 (34%) were unaccompanied or separated children (UASC). Overall, arrivals of children in the first half of 2019 decreased by 21% compared to the same period in 2018.

Greece

Between January and June 2019, 5,9053 children arrived in Greece by land and sea, including 994 (17%) UASC4 . This is an 18% increase compared to children arriving in the same period in 2018 (5,001). The number of children arriving unaccompanied or separated was also 57% higher than in the first six months of 2018 (636). The majority of children, including UASC, were from Afghanistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Spain

Between January and June 2019, some 1,750 children arrived by land and sea. This is a 20% decrease compared to the first half of 2018, when a total of 2,179 children arrived.
Nevertheless, the proportion of children arriving unaccompanied or separated has increased slightly from 65% in JanuaryJune 2018 to 69% in 2019. Most children came from Morocco, the Syrian Arab Republic, Mali and Guinea. Most of them arrived by sea and rarely applied for asylum.

Italy

Between January and June 2019, 486 children arrived in Italy . This is an six-fold decrease in comparison to the same period of 2018 (3,096) – in line with the sharp decrease in total sea crossings since July 2017. The proportion of children arriving unaccompanied or separated has also decreased from 84% in January-June 2018 to 75% in 2019. Most children originated from Tunisia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iraq.

Bulgaria

Between January and June 2019, 95 children were intercepted at border crossing points and within the territory of the country. While this represents an overall decrease of 26% compared to the first half of 2018 (128), the number of UASC (62) nearly doubled compared to the same period in 2018 (35). This meant the proportion of UASC arriving in Bulgaria increased from 27% in the first half of 2018 to 65% in 2019. Most children were from Afghanistan, Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic.

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