Over 31,000 minors applied for asylum in EU in 2017

By Serife Cetin

BRUSSELS (AA) – A total of 31,400 unaccompanied minor asylum-seekers last year applied for European Union protection, according to Eurostat figures released Wednesday.

According to Eurostat, the EU's statistical office, the 2017 number is nearly half the number seen in 2016 — 63,200 — and almost "one-third of the peak" of 2015, 95,200.

The data said that Afghan, with 17 percent, continued to be the main citizenship of unaccompanied minor asylum-seekers registered in the EU, followed by Eritrean, with 10 percent, and Syrian, with 6 percent.

In 2017, almost one in three of the unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Italy, followed by the U.K. with 29 percent, and the Netherlands with 28 percent, Eurostat said.