The Migration crisis: Weekly snapshot (03 - 09 February 2020)

migrants greece

migrants greece

We continue our weekly snapshot on the migrant crisis on the Greek islands from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The latest figures concern the arrivals of migrants and refugees to Greece via the Aegean islands for the period 03-09 February 2020.

After the recent migrant protests on the islands, a number of asylum seekers who were  engaged in the violent clashes with police were detained and charged with arson and other offences. The situation only got worse when the government proposed legislation for the requisition of land on the islands of Chios, Lesvos and Samos to build new migrant camps prompting the North Aegean Region (NAR) to announce on Thursday that it is suspending cooperation with the Greek government until it repeals its requisition plan.


This week, 149 people arrived on the Aegean islands, a decrease from last week’s 601 arrivals and from last year’s 247 arrivals during the same period. The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 21, compared to 86 in the previous week.

Present Population on the Islands 

Some 41,000 refugees and asylum seekers reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (48%), Syria (20%) and Somalia (6%).

Women account for 22% of the population, and children for 34% of whom more than 6 out of 10 are younger than 12-years-old.

Approximately 14% of the children are unaccompanied or separated, mainly from Afghanistan.

Entry Points by Sea 

Lesvos received the highest number of arrivals (27), followed by Samos (50) and the Dodecanese Islands with (27) people

This week, 440 asylum-seekers departed, once authorised by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 75 were transferred with the support of UNHCR to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.