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UNHCR Europe situations: Data and trends - Arrivals and displaced populations (August 2021)

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In August, some 15,600 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean and Canary Islands routes, a 24% increase compared to July. Of these, some 10,300 (66%) persons arrived in Italy, 20% more than last month. Arrivals in Spain through the Western Mediterranean and Canary Islands routes increased by 32% compared to July, while arrivals in Greece increased by 56% in the same period.

Out of some 10,300 refugees and migrants who arrived in Italy in August, the majority had departed from Tunisia and Libya (48% and 30%, respectively). The number of arrivals in Italy from Libya in August increased by 25% compared to July. Meanwhile, some 4,200⁶ refugees and migrants who departed from Libya in August were intercepted or rescued by Libyan authorities and disembarked back in Libya, a slight increase of 3% compared to the previous month. According to available data, most people departing from Libya so far this year were from Bangladesh, Egypt and Eritrea, while people arriving in Italy from Tunisia originated mainly from Tunisia, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea.

Of the 4,000 refugees and migrants who arrived in Spain in August, 56% arrived through the Western Mediterranean route. Arrivals in the Canary Islands in August (1,764) increased by 203% compared to July, in line with seasonal trends observed in 2020. Overall, the number of arrivals in Spain from January to August 2021 through both routes was 46% higher than in the same period last year.

Over 1,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece this month, a 56% increase compared to July. However, the overall number of arrivals in Greece in the first eight months of 2021 decreased by 54% compared to the same period last year, as allegations of pushbacks at land and sea borders continued. Turkish authorities reported rescuing or intercepting some 2,400 refugees and migrants in August at sea, a 41% increase compared to July.


In August, some 3,000 people arrived in or transited through the subregion as part of mixed movements, on par with July 2021, but 53% fewer than in August 2020. From January to August 2021, 19,430 people arrived in or transited through the subregion, 44% fewer than in the same period in 2020.

Some 108 persons submitted an asylum application in August, a 35% decrease compared to July (167). The main countries of origin of these applicants were Morocco (21%), the Syrian Arab Republic (18%) and Algeria (9%). In August, 45% of asylum applications were lodged by children, of whom 65% were unaccompanied or separated.

Only 10 asylum interviews were conducted in August in the subregion, and three positive first-instance decisions were issued (all subsidiary protection status), while 14 applications were rejected and 33 were closed, as the applicants were no longer present in the country of application. As of the end of August in the subregion, 441 asylum application cases were still pending.