A large number of migrants who show up on European shores are Egyptian, Amr Taha, regional director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said in a statement on Tuesday.
In 2014, Italy received 4,000 Egyptians, including 2,000 children without parents or guardians, he added.
The percentage of Egyptian migrants rose to 62 percent in the first six months of 2015, Taha said.
“We are proposing a project to put a framework that speeds up the return of those unaccompanied minors to Egypt, in cooperation with the government,” Taha added, urging the activation of a joint protection program that will provide shelter, healthcare and education to these children when they return to Egypt.
Egypt is preparing a draft law to define the crime of illegal immigration and legislate prison terms on smugglers of up to 25 years if immigrants die.