Tag Archives: Asylum Applicants

Eurostat: Asylum Statistics for Q1 2011

Eurostat has issued a statistical report regarding the number and makeup of asylum applicants in the 27 EU member states and Norway, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein for the First Quarter 2011.  The report documents the increased number of applications filed in Italy by Tunisians, but note that the report only addresses data through 31 March 2011.

Highlights include:

  • Nearly 66 000 persons sought asylum in one of the EU Member States during the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 4 000 compared with the same period of the previous year.
  • France and Germany remained the top destination countries of asylum applicants with 14 300 and 12 000 applicants respectively.  France and Germany received 40% of the total applications filed.
  • Germany (+ 2 700) and Italy (+1 300) recorded the highest increases in numbers of applicants in absolute terms compared to the first quarter of 2010, while Sweden (- 1 900) and the Netherlands (-700) recorded the largest falls.
  • In the first quarter of 2011, the main citizenships of people seeking asylum in the EU-27 were Afghans (5 800), followed by Russians (4 100) and Iraqis (3 800).
  • Tunisians (2 500) are now ranked eighth among the main countries of citizenship of asylum seekers.  90% of the Tunisian applications were made in Italy.
  • 55 600 first instance decisions on asylum applications were issued in the EU-27 during the first quarter of 2011. One out of four of such decisions was positive; in total 13 500 persons received some type of protection status, including refugee status (6 800 decisions), subsidiary protection (4 600 decisions) or authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons (2 100 decisions).

Click here for Eurostat report.


Asylum applicants, absolute and relative change between Q1/2010 and Q1/2011

Asylum applicants, EU-27, January 2010 – March 2011

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Filed under Analysis, Data / Stats, European Union, General, News

Maltese Minister Says Malta Will Not Reconsider Its Detention of Migrants

Malta Today reports that Justice and Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici reaffirmed Malta’s detention law and disagrees with the comments made by COE Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg.  From Malta Today: “‘This [the detention policy] is compliant with Malta’s EU and other international obligations. As a matter of fact, the European Convention on Human Rights does not rule out detention,’ Mifsud Bonnici said, citing Article 5 (1)(f) of the Convention. … Mifsud Bonnici however said that the judgement in the [ECtHR’s] Massoud vs Malta case, ‘cannot, in any way be interpreted as constituting a condemnation of Malta’s detention policy. This has been proved and explained time and again.’”

Click here for article.

Click here for Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg’s statement.

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Filed under Commissioner for Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News, Statements

UNHCR Report: “2010 Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries”; Levels Fall to Half of 2001 Levels

From UNHCR’s statement summarizing the report which was released this morning:

“Asylum figures fall in 2010 to almost half their 2001 levels-

GENEVA – The number of asylum-seekers in the industrialized world continued to fall in 2010, bringing the figure down to nearly half the level at the start of the millennium.

This was among the main findings as the UN refugee agency today released its 2010 statistical overview of asylum applications in 44 industrialized countries. The report deals with new asylum claims and does not show how many individuals were granted refugee status.

According to the report, 358,800 asylum applications were lodged in industrialized countries last year – down 5 per cent from 2009, and some 42 per cent lower than the decade’s peak in 2001, when almost 620,000 asylum applications were made…

Numbers fall in most regions

Last year’s total number of new asylum claims was the fourth lowest in the last decade. Year-on-year decreases were reported in most regions, including in Europe, North America and North Asia. Within Europe, the largest decline was seen in southern Europe, where claims fell by 33 per cent compared to 2009. This was mainly because fewer people requested protection in Malta, Italy and Greece. However, this decline was offset by increases elsewhere, especially in Germany (49%), Sweden (32%), Denmark (30%), Turkey (18%), Belgium (16%) and France (13%). In the Nordic countries, the increases in Denmark and Sweden were offset by substantial declines in Norway (-42 per cent) and Finland (-32 per cent)….

US tops recipient list

Among individual countries, the United States remained the largest asylum recipient for the fifth consecutive year, accounting for one out of every six asylum applications in the industrialized countries covered in the report. The US saw an increase of 6,500 applications, partly due to a rise in the number of Chinese and Mexican asylum-seekers.

France maintained its position as host to the second-largest number of new applications, with 47,800 in 2010, largely from Serbian, Russian and Congolese asylum-seekers. Germany became the third-largest recipient country with a 49-percent rise. The increases can partly be attributed to a rise in asylum seekers from Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. That development is widely attributed to the introduction of visa-free entry to the European Union for nationals of these two countries since December 2009.

Sweden and Canada ranked fourth and fifth respectively. Together, the top five countries of asylum accounted for more than half (56 per cent) of all asylum applications covered in this report.

Most claims from Serbia

In terms of places of origin, the largest group of asylum-seekers in 2010 were from Serbia (28,900, including Kosovo). The country saw a 54 per cent increase compared to 2009, when it ranked sixth. Interestingly, the number of asylum applications in 2010 was comparable to 2001, soon after the Kosovo crisis.

Afghanistan slid to second place with a decrease of 9 per cent compared to the previous year. Unlike in 2009, when Afghan claims were mainly lodged in Norway and the United Kingdom, in 2010 more claims were filed in Germany and Sweden. Chinese asylum-seekers made up the third-largest asylum group in 2010, partly due to a substantial drop in the number of new applications from Iraq and Somalia. For the first time since 2005, Iraq was not one of the top two countries of origin of asylum-seekers. It dropped to fourth place, followed by the Russian Federation. Somalia, which occupied the third spot in 2009, fell to sixth in 2010….”

Click here for full report.

Click here for key graphs from report.

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Filed under Data / Stats, European Union, News, Reports, UNHCR

ASIL Insight article about M.S.S. v. Belgium & Greece

ASIL has just published an Insight article about M.S.S. v. Belgium & Greece written by Tom Syring, Co-chair of the ASIL International Refugee Law Interest Group, who currently serves at the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board.

Excerpt from the conclusion:  “Apart from criticizing Greece for the current conditions of detention and subsistence awaiting asylum seekers, and Belgium for ‘intentional blindness’ for failing to properly scrutinize the adequacy of protection against refoulement in Greece, despite the fact that circumstances had called for application of the sovereignty clause, the Grand Chamber’s judgment exposes flaws in the current European asylum regime.

The judgment acknowledges … challenges [posed by CEAS and the Dublin regulation], yet underlines that neither uneven burden-distribution (Greece) nor a state’s minimalist reading of the Dublin Regulation (Belgium) absolves Member States of their responsibilities vis-à-vis the Convention or other applicable international treaties, including the 1951 Refugee Convention. As long as the EU and CEAS are comprised of individual Member States, as opposed to a ‘United States of Europe,’ individual states will be held responsible for independently assessing each case for the risk of direct or indirect refoulement.   While the Grand Chamber judgment uncovered a number of deficiencies in the current European asylum system, solutions to CEAS may have to be found outside the ‘Dublin world.’”

Click here for full article.

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EUROSTAT Q1 2010 Asylum Statistics for EU27 Countries

EUROSTAT released updated data on 15 July for the First Quarter of 2010.  The report is entitled: Asylum applicants and first instance decisions on asylum applications in Q1 2010 (Doc. 32/2010).

Notable statistics include reductions of over 50% in the number of asylum applicants in three countries, Malta, Italy, and Greece, relative to the First Quarter of 2009.  Malta had the largest reduction of approximately 95%.

The reductions in Malta and Italy are almost certainly due to Italy’s push-back practice.  Though the first migrant arrivals in Malta in 2010 occurred this past weekend, 17 July, when 55 migrants on a sinking vessel were intercepted by Maltese and Libyan patrol boats.  The Times of Malta reported that the migrants were “shared out” between the Maltese and Libyan patrol boats.  28 migrants were brought to Malta and 27 were apparently taken to Libya.

Click here for the full EUROSTAT document.

Click here for Times of Malta article.


Filed under Aegean Sea, Data / Stats, Eastern Atlantic, European Union, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News