Monday, March 25, 2013
Refugee and asylum claims on the rise
Recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Union (EU) show a sharp rise in refugee and asylum applications, much of it attributable to the on going conflict in Syria.
The UNHCR has reported an 8% rise in asylum applications in industrialized countries in 2012. 479,300 claims were registered last year, the largest number since 2003. The United States received more applications than any other country with 83,400, a significant increase over 2011. France and Germany followed the United States as the most popular destination for asylum seekers.
Eurostat announced that European countries received 330,000 asylum applications in 2012, up from 302,000 in 2011. The largest number of asylum seekers come from Afghanistan, but Syrians have now moved into second place, followed by Russians, Pakistanis and Serbs.