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Ceturtdiena 19.10.2017 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna

Number of refugees in the world – at its peak since 2003

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Conflicts in the world – Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somali – heavily affected the rise in the number of refugees in 2012 (increased by 8%). The most rapid increase of refugees came from Syria.

Compared to other industrial countries, the registered number of refugees in Baltic countries remained very low. This, according to UNHCR report “Asylum levels and trends in industrialized countries 2012”.

There was a total of 479 300 refuge applications registered in the 44 countries included in the report. This is the highest annual index since 2003.

Europe was the main recipient of asylum applications – 355 500 requests in 38 countries, compared to 327 600 requests in 2011. Germany experienced a fresh number of applications (64 500 requests – 41% increase), followed by France (54 900 requests – 5% increase), and Sweden (43 900 requests – 48% increase). There was also a 33% increase in Switzerland (25 900).

Among Europe’s regions, the largest relative increase of the annual refuge level was noted in Nordic countries. Five countries received 62 900 asylum applications in 2012, which is 38% more compared to 2011. The increase was moderate across all countries except Finland (2 900 requests). Sweden received 70% of all applications registered in this region. Other notable countries include Norway (9 800) and Denmark (6 200). Iceland also reported about an increase in the number of refugees – from 72% in 2011 to 116% in 2012.

Nevertheless, the largest asylum request recipient was USA with 83 400 requests – 7 400 more than there was in 2011. North East Asia, Australia and New Zealand also saw an increase, but their total number of asylum requests remain the lowest. Japan and Korea registered 3 700 new requests in 2012, which is 28% more than there was in 2011. The number of people seeking refuge in Australia increased by 37% in 2012.

Afghanistan was the leading country in terms of refugees seeking asylum in other countries (36 600 requests, compared to 36 200 in 2011). Syria was the second largest “exporter”, with a 191% increase in the number of people seeking to leave the country. Serbia was the third country – 24 300 requests and 14% increase.

The total number of refugees in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was 792, compared to 829 in 2011. The number of registered refugees remains very low, compared to other countries included in this report. The three leading countries in terms of departing refugees were Georgia, Afghanistan and the Russian Federation.

The number of refugees seeking international protection in Estonia was 77. Most of them came from Georgia (35 requests), followed by Russia (8), and Armenia (5).

Latvia’s number of refugees reduced to 189. People from Georgia formed the majority (106), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (23), and Syria (18).

Lithuania’s statistics show and increase (529 requests), compared to 2011 (427). Most refugees came from Georgia (295), followed by Afghanistan (73), and Vietnam (47).


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