Turkey has been condemned widely this past week by Greece and the EU for its active role and complicity in people smuggling operations both in the Aegean and land border with Greece.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has released the latest figures concerning the arrivals of migrants and refugees to Greece via the Aegean islands for the period 24 February – 01 March 2020.
This week, 1,288 people arrived on the Aegean islands, an increase from last week’s 778 arrivals and from last year’s 153 arrivals during the same period.
The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 184, compared to 111 in the previous week.
Present Population on the Islands
As of the 2nd of March, some 42,050 refugees and asylum-seekers reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (49%), 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 (566), followed by Chios (332), Samos (268) and the Dodecanese Islands with (122) people.
This week, 592 asylum-seekers departed, once authorised by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 244 were transferred by the Government with the support of UNHCR to open reception facilities/sites and to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.