Children and unsafe migration into Europe: Understanding the evidence base

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With an increasing number of migrant children reported missing in Europe, questions arise about the availability, coverage and reliability of data on children migrating to and through the European Union.

Rachel Humphris and Nando Sigona analyses the evidence base in the latest IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre  Data Briefing Issue 5, released on 2nd September.

It is estimated that over 250,000 child migrants crossed irregularly into Italy and Greece in 2015. For Italy, of 16,500 child migrants, over 12,000 (72 percent) were unaccompanied. For Greece, no official distinction between accompanied and unaccompanied is made at entry for the purposes of data collection, although the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that at least 10 percent arrived without parents or guardians.

“Child migration into Europe is diverse and often invisible in data and policy. European States consider children as “accompanied” or “unaccompanied” differently.  This not only affects the rights and entitlements…

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