Sharp decline in number of asylum requests
19 June 2006, BRUSSELS — The number of requests for asylum in Belgium strongly declined in the first five months of this year.
19 June 2006
BRUSSELS — The number of requests for asylum in Belgium strongly declined in the first five months of this year.
The annual report of the Commission for Refugees and the Stateless also indicated on Monday that the number of requests for asylum in 2005 was slightly above the number recorded in 2004.
However, the number of asylum requests last year was lower than the numbers recorded in the years prior to 2004.
The number of requests for asylum in the first five months represented a 28 percent decline compared with the same period last year.
The decline is due to government policy: heightened European co-operation is leading to a decline in 'asylum shopping' and the swift processing of not admissible, unfounded and fraudulent requests for asylum also steers asylum seekers away.
The dissuading campaign waged by Interior Minister Patrick Dewael is also having an impact, news agency Belga reported.
In 2005, there were 15,357 requests for asylum compared with 15,957 in 2004. But the number of asylum requests in 2005 was still below the amount recorded prior to 2004.
Most asylum seekers originate from Russia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Serbia-Montenegro, Iraq and Slovakia.
In 2005, the refugee commission granted political asylum to 3,059 people, 15.2 percent of the applicants. It was a rise in comparison with recent years. The appeals commission also granted asylum to 689 people.
The increase in the number of successful asylum applicants can be explained by the processing of backlogged cases. There was a greater number of asylum seekers who made valid asylum applications.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news