October 24, 2016

In 2015 one million enter Europe!

The number of migrants and refugees crossing into Europe by land and sea illegally this year has passed one million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.
This represents a fourfold rise on the total last year.
Most crossed by sea, with more than 800,000 travelling from Turkey to Greece. Most are refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The IOM says 3,695 migrants have drowned this year or remain missing.
Migrant crisis in graphics
Shelter or despair in Athens
Desperate journeys
The huge influx of migrants has caused significant political rifts within the EU, with some states inside the border-free Schengen area putting up fences and reimposing frontier controls.
Hungary and Slovakia are taking legal action at the European Court of Justice to challenge EU plans to share asylum seekers across EU states.
Meanwhile, many migrants and refugees are pressing to be allowed to settle in richer northern countries like Germany and Sweden.
‘We must act’
Migration passed the symbolic milestone on Monday, the IOM said, with the total for land and sea reaching more than 1,006,000.
972,500 people have arrived by sea
34,000 people have crossed from Turkey into Bulgaria and Greece by land
942,400 new asylum claims in the EU Jan-Nov 2015, rising to more than 1 million when Norway and Switzerland are included (Source: Eurostat monthly figures)
More than 1 million registrations in Germany’s “EASY” system which counts new arrivals ahead of them claiming asylum. This includes a large number (approx 40%) of people from the Balkans not included in UNHCR figures
Entries via six EU nations – Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus – are covered in the report.
It found among other things that
Half of the refugees crossing the Mediterranean were from Syria, 20% were from Afghanistan and 7% from Iraq
Most of the migrants who died – 2,889 – were making the sea crossing between North Africa and Italy, while more than 700 died in the Aegean crossing to Greece from Turkey
Only 3.5% of migrants made a land journey to Greece or Bulgaria via Turkey
The IOM gathers its statistics from registrations, law enforcement agencies and its own monitors.
Its director general, William Lacy Swing, said it was not enough to just count the figures.
“We must also act,” he said. “Migration must be legal, safe and secure for all – both for the migrants themselves and the countries that will become their new home.”
A joint IOM and UNHCR statement said found a “more co-ordinated European response” was beginning to take shape.
However, it said more needed to be done to improve reception facilities, accommodation and registration, and to identify those who do and do not qualify for refugee protection.
Save the Children campaigns director Kirsty McNeill said: “This is the test of our European ideal. When children are dying on our doorstep we need to take bolder action. There can be no bigger priority.”
A note on terminology: This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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