The Eritrean refugee population is estimated at more than 321,000 people. UN estimates that each month some 5,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, leave the country.?? The majority of Eritrean asylum seekers cite mandatory indefinite military conscription as the primary reason for fleeing, followed by military service defectors escaping severe abuse and imprisonment, and elderly people hoping to be reunited with family members.? Many arrive on European shores, but numbers have been decreasing: in 2016, a total of 20,718 Eritreans crossed the Mediterranean to Italy, compared to 39,534 in 2015 and 34,329 in 2014. This trend continues to be observed in 2017. In the first three months of the year, 500 Eritreans arrived in Italy, compared to over 6,000 in the same period of 2016. However, numbers increased slightly between April and June.? Reasons for decline include increased arrests and deportations by Egyptian and Sudanese authories in 2016, as well as settlement of Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries.? Eritrean returnees face risk of prosecution when they return to Eritrea.?
Ethiopia: As of 31 May, aproximately 161,400 Eritrean refugees were registered in camps, down from 169,655 as of April. The decrease is due to a verification exercise of the location of Eritrean refugees, which has revealed significant movement from camps to urban areas. A total of 73,078 Eritreans live in urban areas and are therefore not considered refugees.?? The number of Eritrean refugee arrivals spiked from November 2016 to April with over 7,000 new refugees.?? Over 4,500 Eritrean refugees crossed the border during the first weeks of the year. 39% of new arrivals are children, of whom 14% were identified as unaccompanied or separated. 150–200 Eritreans reportedly arrive daily at the Endabaguna screening centre in Tigray region.? The increase may be attributable to the introduction of a tax on each head of livestock in Eritrea? These refugees are mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar regions.?? An estimated 300 to 400 unaccompanied minors arrive in the Tigray camps each month, and around 200 depart the camps each month to other parts of Ethiopia.?
Sudan: Sudan reportedly hosts over 108,000 Eritrean refugees.? Approximately one third of the Eritreans whom the UNHCR records crossing into Sudan register as refugees.? Forced returns are regular.??
Uganda: As of 31 May, Uganda hosts 12,654 Eritrean refugees, compared to 11,864 at the end of 2016.?
Kenya: As of 31 May, Kenya hosts 1,594 Eritrean refugees compared to 1,590 at the end of 2016.?