REACH teams deployed to conduct rapid assessment of recent arrivals in the EU

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Syrian and Iraqi migrants outside Kos police station in Greece

The year 2015 has witnessed a massive escalation in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Europe and the situation has particularly deteriorated over the past month. According to UNHCR, there were 411,567 sea arrivals in Europe this year with 29,468 arrivals in the month of September alone. As large numbers of people continue to arrive, the situation is likely to become increasingly complex over the coming weeks.

Despite its severity, the crisis is marked by significant information gaps on the intentions and demographic profile of those arriving, as well as the  factors motivating their choice to leave their place of origin and select a specific destination within the European Union. Such information gaps have inhibited the planning and response capacity of aid and government actors, and have contributed to many unfounded assumptions of a so-called “migration crisis”.

To promote a better understanding of the current situation, between September 15th and 23rd, REACH deployed assessment teams to the Balkans, Greece and the Middle East and North Africa region. The teams interviewed asylum seekers to better understand their profile, the routes they have taken and are planning to take, as well as the key pull and push factors related to their decision to move towards Europe. The field assessment has been complemented by a daily review of social media.

REACH has released an overarching report on “Key Trends and Patterns of Syrian Asylum Seekers travelling to the European Union” and a series of situation overviews, with the aim of informing the immediate response and contingency planning to the migrant crisis by European authorities and aid actors.

To access the reports, please click on the inter-active map below or on the links to each report:

Report: Migration trends & patterns of Syrian asylum seekers travelling to the European Union, 28 September 2015
Situation Overview: Kos, Greece, 16 September 2015
Situation Overview: Horgoš, Serbia, 16 September 2015
Situation Overview: Lesbos, Greece, 17 and 18 September 2015
Situation Overview: Tovarnik, Croatia, 18 September 2015
Situation Overview: Athens, Greece, 17 and 18 September 2015
Situation Overview: Evzonoi, Greece, 19 and 20 September 2015
Situation Overview: Bergana & Harmica, Croatia and Slovenia, 19 and 20 September 2015

Image: People from Syria and Iraq wait outside the police station in the Greek island of Kos.