2016 will be deadliest year on record for refugees and migrants coming to Europe. Credit: UNHCR on ODI website.

Migration to Europe: latest statistics and new trends

17 December, 2016

“This year, refugees and migrants have not only faced unprecedented levels of displacement, but also a rise in deaths in transit, restrictive asylum policies, and increased xenophobia, racism and negativity.

Our report detailed that Europe spent at least €17 billion since 2014 on deterring refugees and migrants, through tighter border controls and bilateral agreements such as the EU-Turkey deal.

These measures were effective in reducing migration in terms of overall flows, most notably to Turkey and Greece.

But we also projected that Europe would still receive close to a million asylum applications in 2016. Of these, only 330,000 refugees and migrants would be likely to arrive via the Mediterranean, with over half a million arriving through more covert routes that we know very little about.

This suggests that border controls often simply re-route refugees and migrants towards alternative, possibly more dangerous, routes. Other recent reports came to similar conclusions.”

A very convincing analysis with one clear conclusion: “Europe’s narrow, often expensive, deterrence policies are unlikely to stop people arriving and applying for asylum in Europe. A much more effective approach would be to facilitate and increase legal pathways so that governments can monitor and more effectively manage flows of refugees and migrants.”

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