Majority of migrants in Europe now women and children

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A mother and her child walk along a muddy road towards the Refugee Aid Point in Miratovac, Serbia, on the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Photo: UNICEF/UN08805/Vas

The total number of women and children on the move in Europe is greater than the number of adult males for the first time in recent years, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said.

UNICEF confirmed they now make up nearly 60 per cent of refugees and migrants crossing the border from Greece into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Since June 2015, when men made up 73 per cent of the migration flow, there has been a major spike in the number of women and children on the move, both on land and across the Mediterranean Sea.

This is the first time since the start of the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe that they're outnumbering men.

Many children are travelling alone, without parents.

Sarah Crowe is a Spokesperson for UNICEF.

“Clearly more children and women are at risk at sea and more children and women need support on land. It means that protection systems, health systems and welfare systems need to be strengthened. Child protection systems across Europe, across the region are completely overwhelmed.” 

Although the exact number of unaccompanied minors is not known, some 35,000 mostly Afghan children have sought asylum in Sweden.

Germany has reported more than 60,000 minors primarily from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’03″

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