22 December 2015 (IOM) – IOM confirmed yesterday (21 December 2015)
that over a million irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Europe
in 2015, mostly from Syria, Africa, and South Asia.
the weekend, IOM’s Displacement
Tracking Matrix - Flow Monitoring System counted
999,745 irregular arrivals across the Mediterranean, including
migrants journeying by both land and sea to Greece, as well as to
Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Malta, and Cyprus.
arrivals of 4,141 migrants or refugees landing in Greece on Monday,
IOM reports total arrivals to Europe at roughly 1,005,504, with just
3% coming by land. The total is the highest migration flow
since World War II.
tally of fatalities also continues to rise, with 20 new deaths
recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean since last Friday. This year’s
total of migrant/refugee deaths now stands at 3,692 - over 400 more
than in 2014 - plus at least 30 more deaths reported by African
migrants seeking to enter Europe through Spain’s Canary Islands.
Greece continues to monitor fatalities in the Greek islands, where a
growing number of victims are young children. On 19 December a wooden
boat carrying 62 migrants capsized off Chios Island and a 2-year old
Iraqi boy drowned. According to the Greek Coast Guard, six of the 15
bodies of migrants and refugees to wash up on Greek islands this
month have been infants or children.
know migration is inevitable, necessary and desirable,” said IOM
Director General William Lacy Swing. “But it’s not enough
to count the number of those arriving - or the nearly 4,000 this year
reported missing or drowned. We must also act. Migration must be
legal, safe and secure for all - both for the migrants themselves and
the countries that will become their new homes.”
December alone, IOM estimates that 67,700 or more migrants have
crossed into Greece through the country’s maritime borders.
During the same period, some 52,500 people crossed from Greece into
the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRoM.) This means that
roughly 77% of all migrant arrivals in December already have passed
through Greece and into FYROM and other points further north.
the beginning of the year, IOM estimates that over 810,000 migrants
and refugees have crossed into Greece by sea. Only about 5,000
migrants have crossed into Greece by land.
to IOM’s monitoring system between 9-20 December 45.6% of migrants
crossing Greece’s FYRoM border were male adults; 21.9% were female
adults; 35% were accompanied children and 1.5% unaccompanied minors.
The vast majority are Syrians, followed by Iraqi and Afghans, as no
other nationalities are now allowed to cross.
is offering assisted voluntary return to their country of origin for
migrants who have been turned back from the border. An increasing
number of migrants, notably Moroccans, are expressing an interest,
given the lack of other options to return home safely.