28 March 2014

Syria is now the main country of origin of asylum seekers in the 44 industrialised countries addressed in UNHCR’s Asylum Trends 2013 report. Around 56,400 Syrians sought protection in these 44 states in 2013, which is more than double the number of asylum seekers from that country in 2012 (25,200 claims) and six times more than in 2011 (8,500 claims). UNHCR stresses that the 2013 level is the highest amount of protection claims recorded by a single group in one year among the industrialised countries since 1999.

Sweden (16,300 claims) and Germany (11,900 claims) received the most asylum seekers from Syria and Bulgaria, the Netherlands, the UK and Austria were also important destination countries for Syrians. With the exception of five countries (Cyprus, Finland, Japan, Latvia and New Zealand), asylum applications from Syrians increased in all industrialized countries. Turkey, with 649,302 Syrian registered refugees, hosts the most refugees fleeing the crisis in Europe.

484,600 asylum claims were registered in the 38 European countries in 2013, the highest number since 2001. This represents a 32% increase from 2012, both in the EU and the wider Europe, the report states. According to the report between 2009 and 2013, amongst the European countries, Germany received the largest number of new asylum seekers (288,800 claims), followed by Sweden (138,800 claims), and the UK (138,800 claims).

After Syria, people fleeing the Russian Federation, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Serbia (including Kosovo), were the largest groups seeking refuge in the 44 industrialized countries in 2013.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 28 March 2014
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