Data and Trend Analysis (DATA) Refugees and Migrants at the Western Balkans Route Regional Overview, covering period January - March 2019, describes key trends in migrations in the region, detailing information about the number of people on the move, demography (age, sex, country of origin, etc), behavioral patterns, and routes in use - with a focus on children, particularly unaccompanied children.
Key trends showcased in this report:
- About 8,500 refugees and migrants are estimated to have arrived to the Balkans countries during the first quarter of 2019 - compared to about 7,000 new arrivals to Spain and 500 to Italy during the same period - which makes it the most traveled migration route to Europe.
- Data for 2019 shows a noticeable increase when compared to the numbers recorded during the first quarter of 2018 indicating that the migration flows through the Balkans for 2019 might record an overall increase necessitating adequate programming responses.
- The route through Bosnia and Herzegovina is the most traveled. Transit corridors from Bulgaria/North Macedonia and Serbia as well as through Albania and Montenegro merge in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Children make about one-third of all refugees and migrants transiting through the Balkans with many of them traveling alone. The percentage of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in the overall number of children varies from country to country, oscillating from 8% in North Macedonia to 90% in Serbia, indicating that some children remain invisible and that there are significant differences in identification procedures.