Thursday, March 31, 2011
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has released Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010. Here are some of the highlights:
• 358,800 asylum applications were recorded in the 44 countries included in this report. This is 20,000 claims or 5 per cent less than in 2009 and 2008 (about 378,000 claims for each year). The 2010 level is the fourth lowest in the past 10 years.
• The 38 countries in Europe received 269,900 claims, a decrease of 6 per cent compared to 2009 (287,800 claims).
• The relative importance of Europe as a destination region for asylum-seekers declined in recent years. In 2005, the 38 European countries covered by this report received almost 60 per cent of all asylum applications worldwide. By 2009, this had fallen to 45 per cent.
• The 27 Member States of the European Union registered 235,900 asylum claims in 2010, a 5 per cent decrease compared to 2009 (247,300). The EU-27 together accounted for 87 per cent of all asylum claims in Europe.
• In Europe, the largest relative decrease in annual asylum levels was reported by the eight Southern European countries which received 33,600 asylum requests during 2010. This is a 33 per cent decrease compared to 2009. This decrease is mainly due to fewer individuals requesting international protection in Malta (-94%), Italy (-53%), and Greece (-36%).
• In North America, an estimated 78,700 new asylum applications were submitted in 2010, 3,600 claims or 4 per cent less than in 2009.
• With an estimated 55,500 asylum applications, the United States of America was the largest single recipient of new asylum claims among the group of countries included in this report. France was second with 47,800 asylum applications, followed by Germany (41,300), Sweden (31,800), and Canada (23,200). The top five receiving countries together accounted for more than half (56%) of all asylum claims received in the countries included in this report.
• Slightly less than half of all asylum claims were submitted by individuals originating from Asia (45%). Africa was the second most important source continent (25% of all claims), followed by Europe (19%), and the Americas (8%).
• With 28,900 asylum claims lodged in 2010, Serbia (including Kosovo) was the most important source country of asylum-seekers in the 44 countries included in this report, followed by Afghanistan (24,800 claims), China (21,600), Iraq (20,100), and the Russian Federation (18,900).