Migrant Crisis: Weekly Snapshot (16 - 22 March 2020)

Greek Evros border

Greek Evros border

Greece continues its struggle to maintain control of its Evros land border with Turkey where hundreds of young foreign national males, are aided and abetted by Turkish authorities in their violent attacks against Greek border guards as they attempt to break through.

Video footage showing hoards of young males, mostly non-refugees from countries other than Syria has made the very tired and otherwise hospitable Greek nation understandably sceptical and cynical about hosting more foreign nationals.

As most people logically conclude, the attackers on the Greek – Turkish border in Evros, by virtue of their very behaviour cannot be asylum seekers. You do not assault the country you hope to be granted asylum from.

Meanwhile in our weekly snapshot of the crisis via the Aegean islands as published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, boats arrivals on the Greek islands has decreased.

This week, 105 people arrived on the Aegean islands, a decrease from last week’s 397 arrivals and from last year’s 594 arrivals during the same period.

The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 15, compared to 57 in the previous week.

Present Populations on the Island

Some 39,900 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

Lesvos received the highest number of arrivals (96), followed by the Dodecanese islands (9), Samos and Chios received no arrivals.

This week, 1,977 asylum-seekers departed, once authorised by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 351 were transferred by the Government with the support of UNHCR to open reception facilities/sites and to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.