World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

New UNHCR Asylum Trends Report

New UNHCR Asylum Trends Report

MEDIA RELEASE & REPORT STRICTLY EMBARGOED TO 24:00 (Wellington Time) Tuesday 23 March 2010

New asylum report: 377,200 people seek refuge in industrialized countries in 2009, mainly in Europe and North America

UNHCR tonight released a new report showing that an estimated 377,200 people fled persecution in their homelands to seek asylum in industrialized countries during 2009.

While the total number of asylum claims made in 44 industrialized countries remained stable compared to 2008, regional disparities were highlighted by the report. The number of asylum-seekers in Australia and New Zealand increased by 30 per cent during 2009 (6,500 claims) compared to the previous year (5,000). It is primarily in Australia that the increase occurred with 6,200 claims, up 29 per cent from 2008.

New Zealand received 340 claims in 2009, an increase on the 250 claims made in 2008, but still extremely small in global terms and broadly consistent with levels received in the past five years (an average of 300 new claims per year).

Globally, Afghans topped the list of asylum applicants, with 26,800 submissions, representing a 45 per cent increase over 2008. Afghan asylum-seekers are now, for the first time since 2001, the largest group seeking asylum in industrialized countries.

“The new figures clearly show that conflict and human insecurity in places of origin are the key reasons why people flee their homes to seek protection further afield”, said UNHCR Regional Representative Richard Towle today.

Overall, the report ranks New Zealand 30th of the industrialized countries receiving asylum applications.

The countries receiving the largest number of asylum claims were the United States with 49,000, France (42,000), Canada (33,300), the United Kingdom (29,800), and Germany (27,600), demonstrating that the vast majority of asylum-seekers continue to seek protection in Europe and North America.

“UNHCR hopes that the report will serve to increase awareness of regional and global trends,” Towle said.

“While New Zealand is geographically distant from the world’s major conflict areas and so receives few asylum-seekers, it is important that it continues to play its role in sharing the international burden of refugee protection, as it has through its long history of fair asylum processing and its generous refugee resettlement programme.”

“Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, 2009” is attached, and will be available at www.unhcr.org.au

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Save The Children: One Year Under Taliban Rule, Girls Are More Isolated, Hungry, Sad: New Report
One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an economic crisis, crippling drought and new restrictions have shattered girls’ lives, excluding them from society and leaving them hungry...
More>>

Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>