In September, some 10,600 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean and Canary Island routes, a 9% increase compared to August, but a 45% reduction compared to September 2019.
Spain received the highest number of arrivals in Europe in September (5,264 persons), a first since January 2019. While the majority arrived to the Spanish mainland, nearly 2,200 (42%) reached the country via the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the highest number in a single month so far this year. To date, most people arriving to the Canary Islands are from Mali and other West African countries, with people departing from various points along Africa’s western coast.
A further 4,400 refugees and migrants reached Europe via the Central Mediterranean route in September. Some 2,000 departed from Tunisia (the vast majority of whom were Tunisians), while some 1,400 departed from Libya (down from over 2,000 in August), with most of the remainder arriving from Turkey and Algeria. Some 65 dead and missing people were reported in September along the Central Mediterranean route, of whom the vast majority is believed to have drowned in several different incidents after departing from the Libyan coast.
Just under 1,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece in September (a 92% decrease compared to September 2019), most via the land border with Turkey, as allegations of push-backs at sea continued to be reported. In Cyprus, following the arrival of several boats from Lebanon at the end of August and in early September, UNHCR received reports of alleged push-backs or returns of people not having been offered the possibility to access asylum procedures.