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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

Refugee and  Migrant Crisis  in Europe Humanitarian Situation Report # 31


  • During the first quarter of 2019, some 16,000 refugees and migrants arrived through the Mediterranean migration routes. Although this represents a slight decrease compared to the same period in 2018, the proportion of children has increased from one in five to one in every four arrivals in Europe.

  • Between January and March 2019, UNICEF helped some 4,480 children benefit from quality specialized child protection support and close to 1,950 unaccompanied children being assisted with care and protection in Italy, Greece and the Balkans. Another 15,850 children regularly attended UNICEF-supported formal and non-formal education activities, while some 1,100 people also accessed GBV prevention and response services.

  • The operational context in Europe remains challenging with increased standoffs and fatalities at sea and a polarized public debate on migration. While many governments have made progress in reforming national protection and education systems to improve refugee and migrant children’s reception conditions, access to mainstream services, there is an unfinished agenda requiring further attention to durable solutions, protection from violence, abuse and exploitation, and overall to social inclusion.

  • As UNICEF refugee and migrant response in Europe enters into its fifth year, activities have been optimized and funding requirements revised to better reflect the evolving needs of refugee and migrant children in frontline countries.

These now amount to US$ 27.5 million, of which US$ 12.4 million is for child protection and US$ 9.4 million is for education.


16,000 # of arrivals in Europe through Italy, Greece, Spain and Bulgaria between January and September 2018 (UNHCR, 1 April 2019)

3,800 Estimated # of children among all arrivals in JanuaryMarch 2019 (UNHCR, 1 April 2019)

26,000 # of child asylum-seekers in Europe between January and March 2019 (Eurostat, 10 April 2019)

29,720 # of estimated stranded children in Greece and the rest of the Balkans in March 2019 (UNICEF, 10 April 2019)

17,300 # of unaccompanied and separated children registered in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNICEF, 10 April 2019)

Full report here