The influx of refugees and migrants attempting to enter the EU has reached unprecedented levels, a new Euro-Med Monitor report confirmed on Friday. July and August marked the peak of the crisis to date, with surging numbers of refugees taking to the sea in their quest for a better life.
According to the report, 380,000 refugees arrived via European borders during the first eight months of 2015. In the same period the previous year, just 145,000 refugees managed to make it to Europe, and in all of 2014, a total of 280,000 completed the journey.
In July and August alone, Euro-Med Monitor estimates that 190,000 refugees arrived in Europe. Refugees from Afghanistan and Syria, including Palestinians displaced once before when Israel was created, account for the largest number of persons fleeing to Europe.
Meanwhile, the number of refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean while they attempted to reach Europe reached 2,824 by September 1.
“These numbers mandate an urgent call to the member countries of the European Union to work together to end the shocking neglect and mistreatment of these desperate souls,” says Sandra Owen, who monitors irregular migration for Euro-Med Monitor. “European countries must collaborate to establish a fair mechanism to determine and assign proportional numbers of refugees for resettlement in each country.”
Europe now has sufficient evidence that closing the borders and building walls will not stop those who are desperate for safety and a sustainable life for their families. This evidence must inspire European governments, agencies and humanitarian institutions to begin facilitating asylum seekers' immigration before they reach EU shores on death boats.
Read the report