Monday, September 28, 2009

Asylum applications to EU rise in Q2 2009 but drop in Ireland

eu flag THERE were 2,875 more asylum applications to the EU-27 in Q2 2009 than there were in Q2 2008, an increase of 4.9%.

But asylum applications to Ireland dropped by 23% in this period to 715. This, in the case of Ireland, is equivalent to 160 applicants per one million Irish inhabitants, compared to 125 per million EU-27 inhabitants.

The terms asylum-seeker and refugee are often confused: an asylum-seeker is someone who says he, or she, is a refugee, but whose claim has not yet been definitively evaluated.

National asylum systems are there to decide which asylum-seekers actually qualify for international protection. Those judged through proper procedures not to be refugees, nor to be in need of any other form of international protection, can be sent back to their home countries.

Ireland Q2 2009

The distribution, by age group, of asylum applicants in Ireland was:

Age Group Distribution of Irish applicants
0-13 22.5%
14-17 4.9%
18-34 56.7%
35-64 15.4%
65+ 0.4%
Number of asylum applicants 715







Approximately he Irish applicants are male.  Ireland reached decisions on 945 application in this quarter.  A positive decision was made in respect of 190 of these – 25 were granted refugee status; 5 were granted subsidiary protection (this does not qualify as refugee status but where substantial grounds have been shown for believing that the applicant concerned would face a real risk of suffering, or serious harm). 755 applications were rejected.

The five principal citizenships of applicants in Ireland  in Q2 2009 were:

Nigeria 155
Pakistan 65
China 55
Somalia 30
Congo 30
Other 380









Nigerian asylum seekers ranked first in Switzerland (410 applicants) and Spain (110 applicants).

The EU-27 considered 3,380 decisions from Nigerian applicants92% of these were rejected; 2% were granted subsidiary protection and 5% were admitted on humanitarian grounds.

Pattern of EU-27 citizenship asylum applicants















The EU Member States to which the largest number of asylum applicants were made in Q2 2009 were citizens of:




















The 266,465 asylum applications in the EU-27 was the highest since 2004. Applications in the EU 15 peaked in 1992 at 670,000 and in the EU-27 in 2001 at 424,000. More applications are currently lodged in Sweden than any other Member State. 


Country Number of applicants, 2007 Rejection rate, 2007
Sweden 36,205 37.5%
France 29,160 88.5%
UK 27,905 70.5%
Greece 25,115 98.5%
Germany 19,165 44.6%
Austria 11,920 41.3%

Germany holds the record for applications received in a single year – 104,355 in 1997. The largest number received in Ireland in a single year was 11,635 in 2002.

Ireland received 73,000 asylum applications in the 10 years to 2009. The rejection rate is approximately 90%.

Over half (57.8%) of all EU-27 asylum decisions in 2006 resulted in rejection while some 55,135 persons were granted either refugee or subsidiary protection status.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reports that there were 42million people forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution worldwide amid a sharp slowdown in repatriation and more prolonged conflicts resulting in protracted displacement.  New displacements are occurring in Somalia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  Some displacements are short-lived but others can take years and even decades to resolve.

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