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Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe: Accompanied, Unaccompanied and Separated: Overview of Trends (January - June 2020)

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Arrivals to Europe between January and June 2020

Between January and June 2020, 6,177 children arrived in Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta. Of these, 2,302 (37%) were unaccompanied or separated children (UASC). Child arrivals in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain in the first half of 2020 decreased by 32% compared to the first half in 2019 (8,236).

Greece

Between January and June 2020, some 3,340 children arrived in Greece by land and sea, including 391 UASC (12%). Like the number of people arriving overall in 2020 so far, the number of children also decreased, with 43% fewer children arriving than in the first half of 2019 (5,905). The number of children arriving unaccompanied or separated also decreased, with 61% less children compared to the same period in 2019 (994). Most children, including UASC, were from Afghanistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and State of Palestine.

Spain

Between January and June 2020, some 870 children were estimated to have arrived by sea and land, including some 329 (38%) UASC. This is a 50% decrease compared to the same period in 2019 (1,750). Arrivals of UASC in the first half of 2020 also decreased by 39% compared to the same period in 2019 (538). Based on estimates, most children, including UASC, originated from Algeria, Morocco, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.

Italy

Among the 1,289 children who arrived in Italy between January and June 2020, 1,080 (84%) were UASC – a ratio amongst all children that has remained consistent in recent years. Arrivals of children in the first half of 2020 more than doubled compared to the same period in 2019 (486). Most children originated from Bangladesh, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinea.

Bulgaria

Between January and June 2020, some 101 children lodged their asylum applications in Bulgaria. Among them, 48% were UASC (48). Most asylum-seeking children originated from Afghanistan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq.

Malta

Between January and June 2020, some 446 children, including 415 (93%) UASC were among arrivals resulting from search and rescue activities. Most children, including UASC, originated from Sudan, Somalia and Bangladesh.

Cyprus

Among the 131 children who arrived in Cyprus between January and June 2020 by sea, 39 (30%) were UASC. Most children, including UASC, originated from the Syrian Arab Republic and Somalia.

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