Children alone: Pulled from the sea, fallen by the wayside

Contributed by a member of the RISE Community • August 29th, 2019

Alone, confused and scared. Their rights curbed and hopes crushed. This is the state of far too many children who make it across the Mediterranean to “safety”. The latest data estimates that more than 10 million people – around half of all the refugees worldwide – are “minors” (that is children under 18-years-old). At the same time, nearly 100,000 children who lodged an asylum request were unaccompanied – that is by definition those who are not assisted or represented by their parents or any other adult. In Italy, according to the UNHCR, the number of unaccompanied children has risen significantly in 2016, and are now 15% of all arrivals. By the end of July, 13,705 unaccompanied children had landed in Italy, more than the whole of 2015 (12,3603 children). Italy is once again the principal arrival point for irregular migrants (this is people who enter a country without the documentation required by authorities) to Europe after governments decided to close the Western Balkan route and the European Union entered into its deal with Turkey.

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