Factsheet Child Migrants in Europe

Some facts & figures on children on the move in Europe

The UNHCR, UNICEF and IOM presented an overview of trends for 2019 on Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe – Accompanied, Unaccompanied and Separated. The factsheets breaks down the child migrants arrivals to Europe by country, their nationality, and whether they enter Europe with or without their parents, or whether they were separated from their parents but cared for by other adult family members. It also gives some insight into the child migrants’ age and whether they’re boys or girls.

In 2019, the majority of children arriving in Europe did so with their parents; the rest are identified as unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). The graph below shows the breakdown of child migrants by country of arrival and with whom they apply for asylum.

Approximately two-thirds of children who arrived through various Mediterranean routes in 2019 were boys.

When focusing on the children that arrived unaccompanied or separated (UASC), 80% of those arriving in Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Malta between January and December 2019 were between 15 and 17 years old.

The Lost in Europe collective of journalists focuses in their investigations on the most vulnerable children which are those boys and girls that have no parental oversight. Especially the youth (15-17 years old) that enter adulthood are more prone to disappear from asylum centers or protects shelters to a ‘destination unknown’.

How is it possible that these children disappear?
That is the focus of the journalists of Lost in Europe.

How can we better protect these vulnerable children?
That is where the NGO Defence for Children and the ECPAT-partners steps in to directly support these children and to advocate for policy changes for the children’s legal protection, shelter and care.

Together, this project is to ‘Mind the Children on the Move in Europe’

Photo: “Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp” by World Bank Photo Collection.