Greece’s Government announced this week that it is holding off plans to build new closed migrant detention camps on the Greek islands, to allow for negotiations with local authorities who strongly oppose the initiative.
Notis Mitarakis, the Migration Affairs Minister, said the plan announced last week has been put on hold until demands by authorities on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos are discussed.
Meanwhile, at GCT we continue to publish the weekly snapshot on the migrant crisis 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 10-16 February 2020.
This week, 450 people arrived on the Aegean islands, an increase from last week’s 149 arrivals and from last year’s 346 arrivals during the same period.
The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 64, compared to 21 in the previous week.
Present Population on the Islands
Some 40,700 refugees and asylum-seekers reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (49%), Syria (19%) 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
Chios received the highest number of arrivals (185), followed by Lesvos (96), the Dodecanese Islands (96) and Samos with (73) people.
This week, 641 asylum-seekers departed, once authorised by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 60 were transferred with the support of UNHCR to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.