At least 95,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe last year, four times the numbers for 2014, Bureau [of Investigative Journalism] research can reveal. The huge increase was discovered by the Bureau during an investigation into the level of migration among unaccompanied under-18 year olds in Europe and the stark inconsistencies in the way they are treated. From approaching 29 different governments for statistics, at least 95,070 applied for asylum in Europe in 2015, up from 23,572 in 2014.
It is the first time any concrete figure has been reported for the actual scale of migration among unaccompanied minors during last year’s refugee crisis. An estimate was given by Save the Children in January when the charity suggested 26,000 unaccompanied children arrived in Europe in 2015.
The Bureau has been investigating the issues faced by unaccompanied minors for two years. [...] Almost all the larger countries were among the 17 which provided details. Of those 17, Sweden registered the most asylum applications by lone children in 2015 – 35,369. This was followed by 14,439 in Germany, 9,331 in Austria and 8,804 in Hungary. The UK came in ninth place with 3,043.