Over one-fifth of migrants who arrive irregularly in Europe do so by land, according to the UN migration agency IOM. Between January and early September of this year, there were 17,966 land arrivals in Europe.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said one of its recent reports showed that more than one-fifth of migrants arriving irregularly in Europe do so by land.
The most frequented route is from Turkey to Greece, where authorities have registered a total of 12,166 arrivals since the start of 2018.
"Whether migrants attempt to flee by land or sea we must always be aware of the dangers they are in, and the cynical business model of the smugglers who exploit them," said Lado Gvilava, Chief of IOM's Turkey Mission. "We know that as soon as one route is blocked another one will open. As long as people see their home places as unsafe we need to work with governments to provide them with the protection they need, whether they are in camps, on the move, or arriving in new countries."
Land arrivals in 2018 seven times higher than in 2017
The 17,966 land arrivals to Europe between January and early September 2018 represent an almost 600 percent increase compared to the 2,464 reported in the same period last year, according to IOM data.
As in previous years, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are the most common countries of origin, making up more than 50 percent of all registered migrants and refugees in Greece.
The increased migratory movements through the Western Balkans (Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina) continued in 2018. Between January and September 2018, a total of 18,038 irregular migrants were registered in the region - that's a seven-fold increase compared to the 2,675 irregular migrants in the whole of 2017.