The number of unaccompanied refugee minors entrusted to German state care has soared to 42,300 in 2015, rising by more than 260 per cent in comparison to the year before.
The Federal Statistics Office which announced this on Tuesday in Wiesbaden (Germany), added that this year’s numbers were an 11-year high for the office, which has been keeping record of child refugees since 1995.
The office said that to date only 53 per cent of the children who arrived in 2015 had applied for asylum, citing the federal migration agency.
“Bottlenecks among authorities were to blame for the hold-up.
The government association responsible for unaccompanied minor refugees, said that the numbers are in actuality much lower because many of them are registered multiple times.
He added that the number of unaccompanied minors has significantly decreased since November.
According to a government response to a parliamentary information request last month, the number of unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in Germany has leaped, with applications up six-fold in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2015.
“Of the 14,429 minors who applied for asylum in Germany last year, 71.3 per cent are aged 16 or 17, while 28.7 per cent are under the age of 16.
“ Many of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,’’ it said.
It noted that in total, youth welfare offices took 77,600 children and young adults in their care in 2015, which was 62 per cent more than in 2014.
It analised that besides unaccompanied migration, other reasons children became wards of the state included problems at school or drug addiction.