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FRONTEX: Illegal Border Crossings in Central Mediterranean & Western Balkans Increased by 33% in July

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, revealed that 17,300 people entered European countries illegally during July 2021, which is a 33 percent increase in attempts to cross borders illegally compared to the same period in 2020 and nearly 2,700 more compared to a month ago. June. this year.

The number of illegal border crossings from January to June 2021 increased 59 percent with more than 82,000 cases, compared to the same period last year, reports.

Moreover, more than 3,000 Belarusians entered Lithuania illegally during July, 180 in Poland and 200 in Latvia. However, the Central Mediterranean route saw the highest cases of illegal border crossings, with 7,600 people attempting to do so. The total for this year is 30,800, which is 96 percent more than last year, with most immigrants arriving from Tunisia, Bangladesh and Egypt.

Spain’s maritime border saw about 1,380 detections in July, which is 32 percent less than in July 2020. Since January 2021, 7,040 people have attempted to enter the country illegally, which is close to last year’s figures of 6,500.

Among the migrants, Algerians account for 67 percent of the total arrivals from this route, followed by Moroccans, reflecting the ongoing political and economic situation in countries that has caused an increase in the number of people trying to reach Europe.

In July, nearly 400 illegal crossings were recorded on the West African route, equaling last year’s figures. Altogether, there were 130 per cent of illegal border crossings this year, 7,350 respectively, with most migrants coming from sub-Saharan countries.

The Western Balkan route saw 3,600 detections in July, up 67 percent from July 2020. As a result, the total number of illegal border crossings this year increased by 90 percent and reached 22,600. The majority of migrants were registered from Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco.

However, cases of illegal Greek border crossings fell slightly during the month of July, with 1,065 of these cases recorded. In the first seven months of this year, the total number decreased by 33 percent and reached 9,000 compared to 13,370 in 2020. Migrants from Syria and Turkey made up the largest number of attempts.

The agency is working to strengthen border control between Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia due to the increase in the number of detected illegal border crossings, provoked by the political situation in Belarus.

In an effort to stop smuggling, Frontex supports three Spanish ports: Algeciras, Tarifa and Ceuta,

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