Latest statistics and graphics on refugee and migrant children
Latest information on children arriving in Europe
Refugee and migrant children in Europe and Central Asia by country
Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe overview of trends (January-June 2020)
The demography of those arriving
Gender and age breakdown of accompanied and unaccompanied and separated children by country of arrival
Overall, the proportion of boys among arrivals remains high: 85% of children who arrived through various Mediterranean routes between January and June 2020 were boys. The proportion of girls arriving alone in Greece in the same period decreased by half (19%) compared to the first half in 2019 (42%), whereas the proportion of boys arriving unaccompanied in Italy remained consistent with previous trends. The proportion of boys among arrivals to Malta remained similar compared to the children arrived in the whole of 2019.
Among the 3,033 accompanied children who arrived in Greece, Bulgaria and Malta between January and June 2020, 30% were 0 to 4 years old, 53% were 5 to 14 years old and 17% were 15 to 17 years old. The age breakdown for accompanied children in Italy, Spain and Cyprus is not available.
Reception on arrival as of June 2020
Of all children present in Greece, 48% were living in urban areas (apartments, hotels, shelters for unaccompanied children, self-settled, etc.); 28% were in accommodation sites; 1% were in safe zones for unaccompanied children and 23% were in Reception and Identification Centres.
An estimated 45,100 children were present in Greece as of 30 June 2020, an increase from 32,000 in June 2019.
The majority of UASC registered at the end of June 2020 (94%) were in shelters for unaccompanied children run by state authorities and non-profit entities, while the rest were in family care arrangements (6%).
As of June 2020, some 5,016 unaccompanied migrant and asylum-seeking children (95% boys and 5% girls) were present in the country.
- 101 children, including 48 unaccompanied children, were accommodated in reception facilities in Sofia and Southern Bulgaria.
There are specialised government-run reception centers across the 17 Autonomous communities and the 2 autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla available to accommodate children.
As of the end of February 2020, there were 11,978 UASC in reception (1,099 female and 10,879 male), according to the ADEXTTRA registry of unaccompanied migrant children.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Migrant and asylum-seeking/refugee children are hosted in Temporary Reception Centres and other formal accommodation throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Unaccompanied children were accommodated in Usivak, Bira, Miral, Borici, Sedra, and Blazuj Temporary Reception Centers.
As of June 2020, a total of 817 migrant and asylum-seeking/ refugee children were present in the country. Of these 468 children (268 boys and 200 girls) were accommodated with family members and 349 were unaccompanied (348 boys, one girl).
Asylum applications and decisions
Asylum applications lodged by children, including unaccompanied and separated children, between January and June 2020 – by country of asylum*
During the first half of 2020, countries in Europe recorded some 218,755 new asylum seekers. Nearly a third of them (69,010) were children – a decrease of 29% compared to the number of child asylum applicants in the first half in 2019 (97,235).
During the first half of 2020, the Syrian Arab Republic continued to be most common country of origin among child asylum seekers (22%), followed by Afghanistan (13%), Iraq (6%), Venezuela, Colombia and Eritrea (4% each).
45% of all child asylum seekers were female. Among the top countries of origin for child asylum seekers, females represented a high proportion of those from Côte d’Ivoire (64%), followed by Guinea (54%), Nigeria (52%), Venezuela (50%), Turkey and the Democratic Republic of Congo (49%), Colombia (48%), Russian Federation (47%), Eritrea and Syrian Arab Republic (46% each).
Like previous years, Germany remained the top destination for refugee and migrant children, registering 37% of all child asylum applications between January and June 2020 (25,755 children). Other countries that recorded large numbers of child asylum seekers included France (9,590 children, 14%), Greece (8,385 children, 12%), Spain (8,115 children, 12%), and the United Kingdom (3,445 children, 5%).
Decisions on child asylum applications
Between January and June 2020, a total of 74,635 decisions were issued for child asylum claims by national authorities across Europe. Among those, 60% were positive – a similar percentage as compared to the first half of 2019 (59%). Most decisions granting refugee status and subsidiary protection were issued by Germany to Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan children, while the majority of decisions granting humanitarian status were issued by Spain to Venezuelan and Ukrainian children.
Of all children who received a positive decision, 68% were granted refugee status (slightly down from 72% same period in 2019), 18% were granted subsidiary protection (19% same period in 2019) and 15% humanitarian status (up from 9% same period in 2019).