Refugees given winter discounts by smugglers: UN

Since beginning of 2015, 190,000 children have applied for asylum in Europe, 700 per day, UNICEF says

Refugees given winter discounts by smugglers: UN

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF warned on Wednesday that human smugglers have lowered their rates for refugees who travel to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea as weather conditions worsen in winter.

Smugglers made over 50 percent reductions for refugees who have been trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean this winter, Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Special Coordinator on Refugee and Migrant crisis in Europe said in a press conference in Geneva.

The bad weather and rough season did not create a decrease in refugee flow to Europe, she said.

"In fact, when you talk to families on the move about why they are risking their lives, they tell you the prices have gone down it looks like due to rough weather, smugglers are giving discount for anybody to keep the numbers up," Poirier warned.

Poirier added that the proportion of women and children among the refugees who travel to Europe this year by the Balkan route had increased. 

The proportion of women and children among refugees who arrived in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has increased from 36 percent in September to 44 percent in October, Poirier added.

Since the beginning of the year, 190,000 children have applied for asylum in Europe, i.e. 700 per day, Poirier noted.

According to the UN, more than 760,000 refugees arrived in Europe via Mediterranean Sea in 2015 so far and at least 3,400 refugees lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Kasım 2015, 12:20