FRONTEX Report Shows Illegal Crossings on the Rise in November 2020

The European Border Patrol and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) has published a report detailing the situation at external EU borders and has highlighted that illegal arrivals from various regions to various regions are on the rise in late 2020.

Western Africa reached a record high in November 2020, according to the report. The region accounted for more than 8,150 illegal immigrant arrivals the Canary Islands in November, which is up significantly from November 2019, when only 517 illegal arrivals were reported.

“More than 8 150 irregular migrants reached the Canary Islands in November compared to 517 a year ago. This is the highest monthly total for this route since Frontex began to collect the data in 2009. In the first 11 months of the year, almost 19 600 irregular migrants were detected reaching the Canary Islands. Most of these arrivals were recorded since the beginning of August. Nationals from sub-Saharan countries and Morocco accounted for most of the registered arrivals,” the report reads.

The Central Mediterranean is also seeing a large spike in illegal arrivals where around 5,400 were recorded, reportedly up 61% from October 2020. The total number of illegal crossings in this region more than doubled since 2019 through the first 11 months of 2020. Tunisians and Bangladeshis reportedly accounted for most of these crossings.

“The Central Mediterranean saw a 61% rise in illegal border crossings from the previous month to around 5 400. In the first 11 months of this year, the total number of illegal crossings on this route more than doubled to nearly 34 200. Tunisians have accounted for two out of every five illegal crossings via the Central Mediterranean, while Bangladeshis were responsible for one in five,” the report reads.

According to the FRONTEX report, not all illegal border crossings in all locations are on the rise, however.

Reportedly, illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Balkans are all on the decline.

“There were around 1 450 detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean in November, half the total from the previous month,” the report reads. It continues “According to the most recent data, there were around 750 detections of illegal crossings reported in November on the Eastern Mediterranean route, less than half the figure from October.” Finally, the report concludes that “There were 3 200 detections of illegal border crossings on the Western Balkan route in November, 16% fewer than in October,” the report reads.

FRONTEX has yet to announce a comprehensive plan to deal specifically with the rising illegal border crossings in certain regions.

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