In the latest years Eur?pe has been the destinati?n f?r huge quantities ?f migrants, m?stly c?ming fr?m Africa and Middle-East thr?ugh the Mediterranean Sea ?r ?verland thr?ugh S?uthest Eur?pe. Acc?rding t? UNHCR (UN High C?mmissi?ner f?r Refugees) m?st ?f these refugees c?me fr?m Syria (46.7 %), Afghanistan (20.9 %) and Iraq (9.4 %). In 2014 the t?tal am?unt ?f migrants directed t? Eur?pe standed at 500’000, while it m?re than d?ubled in 2015. This gr?wth caused several issues especially f?r C?untries such Italy and Greece which are the main destinati?n f?r migrants c?ming by the sea. These numbers d? n?t ?nly c?ncern asylum seekers, many ?f them are ec?n?mic migrants, pe?ple searching f?r better life c?nditi?ns, as well as s?me h?stile agents, such as Islamic State agents, ?ften disguise as refugees ?r migrants. During their trip leading t? Eur?pe, migrants have t? face inhuman c?nditi?ns, smugglers vi?late any kind ?f human rights, making these trips incredibly danger?us. In the first half ?f 2017, acc?rding t? UNHCR, ?ver 2’700 migrants have been rep?rted dying acr?ss the Mediterranean Sea, ?ver 5’000 died in 2016 and ab?ut 3 th?usands in 2015. These numbers peaked ?n April 2015 when five b?ats carrying 2’000 sank, with a c?mbined estimated t?ll ?f 1’200 deaths. These risks d? n?t end ?nce landed in Eur?pe, th?se m?ving irregularly have been rep?rted numer?us kind ?f abuse, including being pushed back acr?ss b?rders. With s? many lives at risk, rescue-at-sea ?perati?ns undertaken by all act?rs must remain a pri?rity. The number ?f same pathways leading t? Eur?pe has increased, but these p?ssibilities remain t? narr?w t? ?ffer a stable alternative t? risky irregular j?urneys f?r asylum seekers. Italy had launched the “?perati?n Mare N?strum”, but several EU c?untries refused t? fund it, causing its replacement with “Fr?ntex’s ?perati?n Trit?n” in N?vember 2014, which did n?t lead t? any impr?vent in the matter. In the early 2015, Greece ?vert??k Italy as the first EU c?untry ?f arrival, bec?ming the starting p?int ?f a fl?w ?f refugees and migrants m?ving thr?ugh Balkans c?untries t? N?rthern Eur?pean c?untries, mainly Germany and Sweden.
The c?nflict in Syria c?ntinues t? be by far the biggest driver ?f migrati?n. But the ?ng?ing vi?lence in Afghanistan and Iraq, abuses in Eritrea, as well as p?verty in K?s?v?, are als? leading pe?ple t? l??k f?r new lives elsewhere.
Alth?ugh n?t all ?f th?se arriving in Eur?pe ch??se t? claim asylum, many d?. Germany received the highest number ?f new asylum applicati?ns in 2015, with m?re than 476,000.But far m?re pe?ple have arrived in the c?untry – German ?fficials said m?re than a milli?n had been c?unted in Germany’s “EASY” system f?r c?unting and distributing pe?ple bef?re they make asylum claims.
Hungary m?ved int? sec?nd place f?r asylum applicati?ns, as m?re migrants made the j?urney ?verland thr?ugh Greece and the Western Balkans. It had 177,130 applicati?ns by the end ?f December.
The Internati?nal ?rganizati?n f?r Migrati?n (I?M) estimates that m?re than 1,011,700 migrants arrived by sea in 2015, and alm?st 34,900 by land.
This c?mpares with 280,000 arrivals by land and sea f?r the wh?le ?f 2014. The figures d? n?t include th?se wh? g?t in undetected.
The EU’s external b?rder f?rce, Fr?ntex, m?nit?rs the different r?utes migrants use and numbers arriving at Eur?pe’s b?rders and put the figure cr?ssing int? Eur?pe in 2015 at m?re than 1,800,000.
M?st ?f th?se heading f?r Greece take the relatively sh?rt v?yage fr?m Turkey t? the islands ?f K?s, Chi?s, Lesv?s and Sam?s – ?ften in flimsy rubber dinghies ?r small w??den b?ats.
Acc?rding t? the I?M, m?re than 3,770 migrants were rep?rted t? have died trying t? cr?ss the Mediterranean in 2015.
M?st died ?n the cr?ssing fr?m n?rth Africa t? Italy, and m?re than 800 died in the Aegean cr?ssing fr?m Turkey t? Greece.
The summer m?nths are usually when m?st fatalities ?ccur as it is the busiest time f?r migrants attempting t? reach Eur?pe.
But in 2015, the deadliest m?nth f?r migrants was April, which saw a b?at carrying ab?ut 800 pe?ple capsize in the sea ?ff Libya. ?vercr?wding is th?ught t? have been ?ne ?f the reas?ns f?r the disaster.
Alth?ugh Germany has had the m?st asylum applicati?ns in 2015, Hungary had the highest in pr?p?rti?n t? its p?pulati?n, despite having cl?sed its b?rder with Cr?atia in an attempt t? st?p the fl?w in ?ct?ber. Nearly 1,800 refugees per 100,000 ?f Hungary’s l?cal p?pulati?n claimed asylum in 2015.
Sweden f?ll?wed cl?se behind with 1,667 per 100,000.
The figure f?r Germany was 587 and f?r the UK it was 60 applicati?ns f?r every 100,000 residents. The EU average was 260.
Tensi?ns in the EU have been rising because ?f the dispr?p?rti?nate burden faced by s?me c?untries, particularly the c?untries where the maj?rity ?f migrants have been arriving: Greece, Italy and Hungary.
In September, EU ministers v?ted by a maj?rity t? rel?cate 160,000 refugees EU-wide, but f?r n?w the plan will ?nly apply t? th?se wh? are in Italy and Greece.
An?ther 54,000 were t? be m?ved fr?m Hungary, but the Hungarian g?vernment rejected this plan and will instead receive m?re migrants fr?m Italy and Greece as part ?f the rel?cati?n scheme.
The UK has ?pted ?ut ?f any plans f?r a qu?ta system but, acc?rding t? H?me ?ffice figures, 1,000 Syrian refugees were resettled under the Vulnerable Pers?ns Rel?cati?n scheme in 2015. Prime Minister David Camer?n has said the UK will accept up t? 20,000 refugees fr?m Syria ?ver the next five years.
Alth?ugh huge numbers have been applying f?r asylum, the number ?f pe?ple being given asylum is far l?wer.
In 2015, EU c?untries ?ffered asylum t? 292,540 refugees. In the same year, m?re than a milli?n migrants applied f?r asylum – alth?ugh applying f?r asylum can be a lengthy pr?cedure s? many ?f th?se given refugee status may have applied in previ?us years.