Unaccompanied minor asylum seekers hit record numbers in Europe
2018-09-01 14:56:33 -


By Staff Reporter


The number of child asylum seekers who arrived in the EU and Norway unaccompanied – without a parent or another adult in charge of them – reached record levels in the last three years, according to a new report.

The Synthesis Report from the European Migration Network (EMN) states that about 220,000 children arrived between 2014 and 2017.

“At the same time, at least another 48,500 unaccompanied children arrived during the same period, and did not seek asylum,” the report added.

The countries with highest numbers of minors applying for asylum in the EU were Germany (71,675), Sweden (45,065), Italy (22,540) Austria (15,500) and Hungary (10,860), the report highlighted.

The majority of unaccompanied minors were boys, at 89 per cent. Most were young boys of aged 16-17 (65%) “with only a small proportion being less than 14 years old”.

The report says the top five countries of origin of the unaccompanied minors were Afghanistan (82,625), Syria (34,205), Eritrea (15,970), Iraq (10,975) and Somalia (10,385).

The EU-wide study aims to explore the situation of unaccompanied minors following determination of their status, and the approaches put in place by EU member states and Norway to ensure their integration or voluntary return.

It also examines how member states deal with unaccompanied minors who cannot be returned immediately, or who turn 18 years of age, as well as cases of disappearance of unaccompanied minors.

“The majority of unaccompanied minors arriving in member states are granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, and member states provide (temporary) residence permits once a positive decision on the application has been taken,” the report adds.

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