The number of applications for asylum submitted by unaccompanied children in Germany has dropped by a third on last year's figure, according to migration figures obtained by the Rheinische Post newspaper.
Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, BAMF, said it received 1,908 asylum applications from unaccompanied minors between January 1 and August 31, 2019. In the same period last year, the number was 3,051, while there were 4,087 in the whole of 2018.
The number is now at a level similar to that prior to the "refugee crisis" of 2015/2016, the paper reports. In 2013, 2,485 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Germany. In 2016, the number peaked at 35,939.
Many choose alternative status
The number of underage migrants actually entering the country is much higher than the number applying for asylum, according to the national office of statistics. The BAMF confirms that "a significant proportion" of children and young immigrants do not apply for asylum, instead opting for other means of remaining in Germany, such as under the tolerated stay or "Duldung" status.