Huge Increase In Child Migrants As Afghan Parents Send Kids To Europe

Afghan parents are sending their children to Europe unaccompanied in the hope they will be granted asylum and seek reunification with the rest of their families, a report by the European Union’s (EU) asylum office has said. Last year, nearly 96,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in the EU, four times as many as the previous year, with the vast majority coming from Afghanistan. Ward Lutin of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) told Euractiv that the numbers coming from Afghanistan were “huge”. “There is some social research showing that in Afghanistan, this is seen as a grouping mechanism. Families send out their children, strategically, hoping that they will manage to get a status in Europe, and then use them as anchor children and be reunited with them.” European asylum authorities are seen as far more sympathetic to minors, and once those minors are granted asylum they can request for the rest of their family to be given asylum under reunification rules. Mr Lutin added that research showed young Afghans see travelling to European countries such as Germany and Sweden as “something heroic”, and that it is considered “shameful” not to succeed in getting asylum. European countries have seen a