France first choice of asylum-seekers

17th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

GENEVA, Nov 16 (AFP) - France has confirmed its position as first country of choice for asylum-seekers, with an increase in the number of applications during the third quarter of this year, United Nations officials said here Tuesday.

GENEVA, Nov 16 (AFP) - France has confirmed its position as first country of choice for asylum-seekers, with an increase in the number of applications during the third quarter of this year, United Nations officials said here Tuesday.

The increase occurred against a background of a drop in asylum applications in other industrialised countries, according to figures published by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR.)

France came top globally for the fourth quarter in a row, receiving 16,214 asylum requests, an increase of 15 percent over the previous quarter, the agency said.

It was ahead of Britain, the United States, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and Cyprus.

France currently attracts 18 percent of all asylum applications made in industrialised countries, compared to 13 percent last year.

A UNHCR survey of 36 industrialised countries showed that requests had reduced in overall number by 22 percent during the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period in 2003.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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