During 2015, over 1 million migrants landed in Europe – that is the highest number recorded in years. The beginning of 2016 saw numerous new landings too: in the first three months and a half alone, the people who crossed the Mediterranean Sea were a total of 179,000 – which means slightly more than those landing on the Italian coasts throughout 2014. 86% of migrants traveled through the Western Mediterranean route and reached Greece (154,000 arrivals) where the flows of Syrians and Afghans fleeing war zones in the Middle East continue unabated. Italy has seen the landings of 25,000 migrants, who mainly came from African countries such as Nigeria, the Gambia, Senegal, and Mali. Overall, if compared to the same time span in 2015, the number of migrants arriving in Italy from January 1 to March 31 has risen by 85%. As for the reception and accommodation of migrants, the Italian Ministry of Interior has expressed the need to create another 15,000 spaces for refugees since those already provided by the Government and the Regions have turned out to be not enough. As of April 13, 2016, over 112,000 migrants were accommodated in the Italian reception facilities.
Out of 1,015,078 migrants who arrived in Europe through the Mediterranean in 2015, over 300,000 are minors. In particular, the percentage of children landed in Greece (35%) is higher than that of children landed in Italy (11%), which welcomes mainly men. Among the minors landed in Italy, a significant number of them traveled alone: over 12,000 unaccompanied minors arrived in 2015, mainly coming from Eritrea (over 3,000), Egypt (1,711), Gambia and Somalia (1,300 from each country). In January and February 2016, the minors arrived on Italian shores were more than 1,300. Besides a strong presence of minors, Italy is overwhelmed by substantial incoming flows through the Mediterranean of adult males, who made up 73% of incoming migrants in February – with a remaining 18% of minors and a 9% of women. As for the number of minors landing in Greece, the figures on sea arrivals reflect a significant increasing trend: in February, the percentage of minors (40%) exceeded that of adult males (38%).
DEAD AND MISSING
In 2015, 3,771 people lost their lives in the Mediterranean, while in 2014 the dead or missing people were 3,500. Between January 1 and April 4, 2016, the number of migrant deaths reached 761 (with half of them, 366, occurred in the attempt of reaching Greece by sea). Last March, as the amount of arrivals through the Libyan route rose exponentially, the number of people dying in the Central Mediterranean Route rose too (246 deaths in March alone, 343 since January 1).