In October, the number of detections of illegal border crossings on Europe’s main migratory routes fell 17 pct from the previous month to around 16,800 due to a drop in arrivals on the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean. The total on all European migratory routes for the first 10 months of 2019 was 16 pct lower at 107,900, a Frontex report said on Wednesday.
Even though the number of irregular migrants taking the Eastern Mediterranean route in October fell 18 pct from September – to nearly 10,800 – it still accounted for two-thirds of all the detections of illegal border crossings into the European Union.
Despite the slowdown last month in large part due to worse weather conditions, the total number of detections in this region in the first 10 months of this year was 31 pct higher than a year ago at nearly 63,000.
In 2019 on the Eastern Mediterranean route, Afghans accounted for nearly one of every three migrants detected, while Syrians accounted for another quarter of the irregular migrants.
The number of irregular migrants crossing the Western Mediterranean in October rose 8 pct from the previous month to slightly more than 3,000.
The total for the January-October period stood at less than 21,200 – less than half the figure from the same period of last year.
Moroccans and Algerians were the most represented nationalities on this route in the first 10 months of 2019.
In the central Mediterranean, the number of migrants passing through the Central Mediterranean in October stood at close to 2,050 – or 27 pct less than in the previous month. The total for the first 10 months of the year reached 11,900 – down 45 pct from the same period last year.
Nationals of Tunisia, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and Pakistan were the most represented nationalities on this route in the first 10 months of 2019.
Finally, there were more than 500 detections of illegal border crossings recorded in the Western Balkans route in October. The total for the first 10 months reached close to 8,400 or 82 pct above the figure from a year ago. Nationals of Afghanistan accounted for more than half of the migrants detected on this route.