One in five underage asylum seekers unaccompanied

30/06/2016 15:00
One in five underage asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands last year were not accompanied by an adult relative. Over half of 16 to 17-year-old asylum seekers were unaccompanied upon arrival in the Netherlands. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) says most unaccompanied underage asylum seekers came from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan.

Last year 18,630 underage asylum seekers arrived in the Netherlands, of whom 20 percent were not accompanied by an adult relative, the so-called unaccompanied foreign minors (amv’s) <toelichting>. In 2013 5,360 underage asylum seekers came to the Netherlands, of whom 6 percent were travelling alone. In 2015, the number of underage asylum seekers and following family members was three times as high as in 2013; the number of adult asylum seekers was five times as high. The percentage of minors in the entire group of asylum seekers and following family members fell from 40 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2015.

Asylum seekers and following family members

14 to 17-year-olds often travel alone

The number of unaccompanied underage minors increased twelvefold to 3,860 between 2013 and 2015. The percentage of unaccompanied underage asylum seekers rose most rapidly in the 16-17 age group, from 28 to 61 percent. In the 14-15 age group, it rose from 10 to 46 percent. The percentage remained fairly stable among under-14s.

Unaccompanied foreign minors

Many unaccompanied children from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan

Most unaccompanied, underage asylum seekers are Syrian (38 percent), Eritrean (32 percent) and Afghan (14 percent) nationals. Most underage and adult asylum seekers accompanied by relatives were Syrians, but less often Eritreans and Afghans.

Asylum seekers and following family members by nationality and age, 2015

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