Europe, North America, parts of Asia-Pacific seeing rising refugee claims from Syria, Iraq and other conflict zones
Europe, North America, parts of
Asia-Pacific seeing rising refugee claims from Syria, Iraq and other conflict
Geneva, 25 September 2014 - A
UNHCR report released today shows that the number of people seeking refugee
status in industrialized countries continued to climb in the first half of
2014, driven by the wars in Syria and Iraq as well as conflict and instability
in Afghanistan, Eritrea and elsewhere.
new Asylum Trends report, which is based on data received from 44
governments in Europe, North America and parts of the Asia-Pacific, says
330,700 people asked for refugee status in these countries between the start of
January and the end of June, a 24 per cent rise from a year earlier, and
slightly higher than in the second half of last year (when there were 328,100
report warned that, based on historical norms of higher numbers of
asylum-seekers in the second half of each year, 2014 could produce as many as
700,000 claims – the highest total for industrialized countries in 20 years and
a level not seen since the 1990s conflict in former Yugoslavia.
are clearly into an era of growing conflict," said UN High Commissioner
for Refugees António Guterres. "The global humanitarian system is already
in great difficulty. The international community needs to prepare their
populations for the reality that in the absence of solutions to conflict more
and more people are going to need refuge and care in the coming months and
years. Unfortunately, it is not clear that the resources and the access to
asylum will be available to help them."
the net overall increase in new claims shown in the report, more than two
thirds of these were in just six countries – Germany, the United States,
France, Sweden, Turkey and Italy.
Europe, in particular Hungary and Poland, as well as Australia saw declines in
the numbers of people asking to be accepted as refugees. Australia had just
4,600 claims (a 20 per cent fall from a year earlier), while in Poland the
number dropped to 3,300 (65 per cent lower) and in Hungary to 4,800 (58 per
Syria was the main country of origin of people seeking asylum with a more than
two-fold increase (48,400 claims compared to 18,900 in the same period in
2013). Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of people have become newly displaced
this year, produced 21,300 asylum applications, followed by Afghanistan
(19,300) and Eritrea (18,900).
number of people applying for refugee status in the 44 industrialized countries
covered by the report is just one element in the global picture of forced
displacement from wars and conflict. Worldwide, 51.2 million were forcibly
displaced as of the end of 2013. Most are either internally displaced within
their own countries, else are hosted as refugees in states bordering onto war
publishes data on worldwide forced displacement each year in its Global
Trends report http://www.unhcr.org/5399a14f9.html
(Please copy paste link in a new browser). UNHCR’s reports on asylum
applications in industrialized countries are normally published twice annually.
full Asylum Trends report is available by copying and pasting the following
link into a web browser http://www.unhcr.org/5423f9699.html.
The report, this press release, and all accompanying materials are subject to
an embargo of not for use before 0500 GMT on 26 September 2014.
Fleming Spokesperson for High Commissioner Guterres +41 79 557 9122
Edwards UNHCR Spokesman +41 79 557 9120
Baloch Communications Officer +41 79 557 9106
de Gruijl Senior Communications Officer +41 79 881 9185
Rummery Senior Communications Officer +41 79 200 8339
Markus Senior Communications Officer +41 79 301 1966
media contacts in other countries please see: http://www.unhcr.org/4a09806215.html (Please
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