News / Middle East

Syrian Conflict Boosts Number Of Asylum Claims in Industrialized Countries

SYRIA-CRISIS/REFUGEESSYRIA-CRISIS/REFUGEES
x
SYRIA-CRISIS/REFUGEES
SYRIA-CRISIS/REFUGEES
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— A new report finds asylum claims in 44 industrialized countries rose sharply last year due in large part to the ongoing Syrian conflict.  The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reports nearly one-half million claims were registered in 2012, the highest annual total since 2003.  

The U.N. refugee agency reports new and old conflicts last year contributed to an 8 percent increase in asylum applications in 44 industrialized countries.  Afghanistan tops the list of asylum seekers with 36,600 claims with Syria close behind.

But U.N. officials call the number of people seeking asylum in the industrialized countries a tempest in a teapot.  UNHCR chief statistician Tarek Abou Chabake says four out of five refugees remain within their own region and never reach the industrialized countries.

“An example of Syria is the best example where most refugees actually have remained in the countries neighboring Syria and have not crossed borders into Europe or the U.S. or otherwise," said Chabak. "So, the evidence shows and it has been fairly consistent over the last few years that most people actually remain within, at least the continent they are fleeing from and in most cases within neighboring countries.”  

The UNHCR reports more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees fled into Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq with 190,000 people fleeing Mali into neighboring Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso and 400,000 Congolese seeking refuge in neighboring African countries.  

The report says Europe, mainly Germany, France and Sweden, received the most claims for asylum in 2012.  But it says the single largest recipient of asylum requests overall was the United States, with most coming from Mexico, El Salvador and China.

UNHCR Director for the Division of International Protection, Volker Turk, says many industrialized countries profess their commitment to asylum.  But, the truth, he says, is that many of these same governments are adopting an array of measures to deter arrivals from gaining access to the asylum system.

“In the last two decades, states have adopted a lot of measures that are not necessarily the ones opening border," said Turk. "One of the problems that we face generally is that it leads to a de facto criminalization of people trying to enter because they do not have a visa.  They use smugglers at times.  They try to enter “illegally.”  

U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres says wars are driving more and more people to seek asylum.  He says this makes it ever more critical for nations to uphold the international system of asylum.  He is urging countries to keep their borders open for people fleeing for their lives.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid