A total of 5,120 asylum seeking applications were submitted in Cyprus between January 1 and March 31 this year, and as many as 12,600 in 2021.
This is what Philenews reported on Friday, adding that even though no solution to the ever-rising irregular migration is on sight Pournara reception centre today hosts as many as 2,680.
What is even more shocking, parliament heard on Thursday, is the disappearance of 11 unaccompanied minors from Pournara – four in 2019, three in 2021 and another four in the first months of this year.
No one knows where they are, according to the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare which is calling on police to intensify efforts to trace specific persons. These can help out with information on where some of the missing minors could be.
By the end of March, an overall 261 potential unaccompanied minors had applied for international protection.
Last month, Cyprus’ commissioner for children’s rights criticized conditions for unaccompanied minors at the Pournara reception center as “miserable” and “unhygienic”.