Author: reliefweb.int | 29 January 2019
Mostly from the Middle East, South Asia, East and West Africa, children on the move in Europe have fled conflict, insecurity and deprivation. In 2018, some 127,000 additional refugees and migrants, 20 per cent of them children, entered Europe. While arrivals decreased along the Central Mediterranean route, a spike was observed on the Eastern and Western routes, worsening the situations on the Greek islands and in southern Spain. This influx is in addition to the 1.8 million refugees and migrants, including 433,000 children, who arrived in Europe between 2014 and 2017. Turkey is hosting some 3.9 million people, including 1.7 million children. Although many do reach North and Western Europe over time, approximately 45,000 children were still located in Greece, Italy and the Western Balkans at the end of 2018. Despite progress across the region, refugee and migrant children continue to face heightened risks of violence, including gender'based violence and abuse, in countries of arrival, transit and destination. This is largely due to insufficient and sub-standard reception capacities, inadequate access to health and education, overwhelmed asylum and child protection systems and rising xenophobia. Some 21,000 unaccompanied or separated children registered in Greece and Italy still lack the continuum of care and protection that their situations demand, as national legislation, policies and resource allocation have yet to align with international best practices. These circumstances are undermining the capacities of children—accompanied or unaccompanied—to recover from their ordeals, preventing the realization of children’s rights and jeopardizing their inclusion into new communities.