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Migrant crisis: ‘One million enter Europe in 2015’

The number of migrants and refugees crossing into Europe by land and sea this year has passed one million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

The number represents a fourfold rise on the total last year.

The vast majority crossed by sea, with more than 800,000 travelling from Turkey to Greece. Most are refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The IOM says 3,695 migrants have drowned this year or remain missing.

Migrant crisis in graphics

Shelter or despair in Athens

Desperate journeys

The huge influx of migrants has caused significant political rifts within the EU.

‘We must act’

The symbolic milestone was passed on Monday, the IOM said, with the total for land and sea reaching more than 1,006,000.

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The figure covers entries via six European Union nations – Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus.


  • 972,500 people have arrived by sea
  • 34,000 people have crossed from Turkey into Bulgaria and Greece by land
  • 942,400 new asylum claims in the EU Jan-Nov 2015, rising to more than 1 million when Norway and Switzerland are included (Source: Eurostat monthly figures)
  • More than 1 million registrations in Germany’s “EASY” system which counts new arrivals ahead of them claiming asylum. This includes a large number (approx 40%) of people from the Balkans not included in UNHCR figures


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