Refugees are taking more dangerous and diversified journeys, often relying on smugglers, because of the lack of accessible legal ways to Europe, according to a new report from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.
The report states that the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy has become the primary entry point to Europe following increased border restrictions introduced in 2016.
A striking feature, says the report, is the increasing number of unaccompanied children, with over 25,000 making the journey in 2016, representing 14% of all new arrivals in Italy.
For a detailed breakdown of the Desperate Journeys report see Focus on Refugees.
For more on how the churches are responding to the refugee crisis see our dedicated page and the Focus on Refugees website.