In the countries where they are from, such as Syria and Afghanistan, young men are often primary targets for recruitment by radical groups like ISIS and the Taliban. In Sudan, young men may be killed to stop them rebelling against the government and in Eritrea they can be conscripted for what is effectively a life sentence. For all these reasons, men as young as 13 and 14 have to run away from their homes and their families.
Moreover, young men understand that in the official camps, countries are understandably prioritising selection of women, children and families first for their humanitarian quota intakes. As young single men, therefore, their chances of selection are very slim and so they resort to their next best hope – which is a makeshift camp and route.
These also tend to be the images that make their way into the news far more often as in Calais the women who are there often stay in the background and out of sight.