Seeking asylum on children's bicycles

23 Oct 2015

According to BBC, hundreds of migrants have embraced a new route into Europe that avoids the life-threatening Mediterranean crossing. They are cycling into Norway from Russia. Since they are not allowed to cross the Artic on foot, many buy bikes and pedale the final meters. Some even use children's bycicles. 

If, in 2014, only seven asylum seekers crossed the Storskog border, in October 2015, there were 1,100 people doing so, mostly from Syria, but also from Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. 

After crossing the Russian border, the refugees are taken by bus to the small town of Kirkenes, which has been rapidly created a reception center, capable of hosting 500 people. This means that the bycicles are left behind at the border, where they pile up, subsequently being collected and crushed. 

The Norvegian authorities expect the numbers of migrants arriving through this route to only increase, as the Mediterranean route becoming increasingly stormier over the winter. 




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