• Press Release

EU: New Frontex report underscores urgent need for safe and legal routes to Europe

Spokespeople available for interview

A new report by the European Union (EU) border agency Frontex shows yet again the unprecedented scale of the refugee crisis and drives home the urgent need for safe and legal routes to the EU for desperate people to seek protection, Amnesty International said.

The report found that the number of irregular crossings into the EU topped 100,000 in July 2015, the first time this many people have sought to enter in a single month since Frontex began keeping records in 2008. People fleeing conflict in Syria and Afghanistan accounted for “the lion’s share”, according to Frontex.

“The Frontex report is yet more confirmation, as if any were needed, that Europe’s focus on keeping people out rather than managing an ever-growing global refugee crisis is failing,” said Gauri van Gulik, Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

The Frontex report is yet more confirmation, as if any were needed, that Europe’s focus on keeping people out rather than managing an ever-growing global refugee crisis is failing.
Gauri van Gulik, Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International

“While there are definite pressure points – including the central Mediterranean and the Balkans – the problem goes well beyond that. Rather than the piecemeal reactions so far, it’s clear that the EU needs a more holistic approach, and must provide safe and legal routes to enter Europe so people don’t have to risk their lives en route.”

From January-July 2015, Frontex recorded 340,000 irregular crossings of migrants and asylum seekers to the EU, almost three times the equivalent figure for the same period in 2014. The 107,500 crossings recorded in July this year – more than triple the number in July 2014 – marks the third consecutive monthly record.