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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

UNICEF Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe: Humanitarian Situation Report #32 (April - June 2019)


  • Since January 2019, 35,400 refugees and migrants (one in four of whom children) arrived through the Mediterranean migration routes. The majority of the children were registered in Greece, bringing the number of refugee and migrant children present in this country to 32,000- a 52 per cent increase since the start of the year.

  • In the five countries where UNICEF operates (Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, Serbia), 17,400 children attended formal and non-formal education, and another 8,000 children benefitted from psychosocial support, case management and referral. Community-based care-arrangements were provided to 2,600 unaccompanied children. Over 2,900 women, girls, boys and men were also assisted with GBV prevention and response services.

  • UNICEF technical assistance resulted in the implementation of new legislation on guardianship and care for unaccompanied refugee and migrant children in Greece, expanding access to formal education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, improving safeguarding measures in reception centers in Serbia, and enhancing skills-building for vulnerable adolescents in Italy.

  • Migration remains highly political with restrictive asylum policies, increased immigration detention, violent push-backs at borders and the criminalization of solidarity. Reception conditions offered to children in several countries stay extremely poor, while shifts in funding priorities threaten gains achieved in education. Yet, the new European leadership and policy reforms under-way present opportunities to improve standards to keep children safe from violence and provide them with the basic care and services they need to integrate and contribute to host communities.


35,400 # of arrivals in Europe through Italy, Greece, Spain and Bulgaria between January and June 2019 (UNHCR, 5 July 2019)

8,150 Estimated # of children among all arrivals through Greece, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria in January-June 2019 (UNHCR, 5 July 2019)

72,600 # of child asylum-seekers registered in Europe between January and May 2019 (Eurostat, 8 July 2019)

34,200 # of estimated children present in Greece, Bulgaria,
Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia as of June 2019 (UNICEF, 30 June 2019)

12,000 # of unaccompanied and separated children registered in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNICEF, 30 June 2019)

Full report here