UK

Mediterranean Migrant Crisis Map Shows Routes Used To Get To Europe

21/08/2015 17:31 BST | Updated 21/08/2015 17:59 BST

We often hear the argument that migrants and refugees fleeing North African nations are ‘heading straight to the UK’.

On social media, this is often mentioned as if it’s proven fact, but research suggests that migrants head for cities in Mediterranean countries before dispersing in much smaller numbers to western European countries.

And of these, only a fraction reaches the UK.

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The main migration routes into Europe used by those fleeing African nations suggest that far fewer refugees move into western European countries such as France, Germany and the UK, than Mediterranean countries such as Turkey and Greece.

The map was compiled using data from the International Centre for Migration Policy and shows the major routes of migration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

It highlights major migration hubs as Istanbul in Turkey, Oujda in Morocco and Ouargla and Maghnia in Algeria.

And while countries like Sweden and Germany have more than one migration route, Britain has only one.

This mirrors the disparity in the numbers of migrants applying for asylum in European countries.

Jan Brulc of the Migrants’ Rights Network told HuffPost UK last month: "We need to keep the perspective on the fact that Germany takes over 100,000 asylum seekers and Britain takes just over 20,000 every year.

Not all asylum seekers are trying to make it to the UK. For the ones that do want to, it’s usually down to the fact that they have family members in the UK already so they think it might be easier for them to re-establish their lives, or they speak English.”