Belgium 10th most popular for refugees
23 March 2007
BRUSSELS – Belgium is tenth on the list of most popular destinations for asylum seekers. The US drew the most refugees last year, according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Belgium received 11,590 asylum applications in 2006, that is a decrease of more than a quarter compared to 2005, but still enough to put it in tenth place in the world ranking of industrialised countries that take in the most refugees.
The US came in first place with 51,510 asylum applicants, an increase of 6 percent in comparison to 2005.
France comes in second place, with 30,690, and the UK follows with 27,850 applications. Numbers dropped in both countries in comparison to 2005.
Numbers four through nine on the list were Sweden (24,320), Canada (22,910), Germany (21,030), the Netherlands (14,470), Austria (13,350) and Greece (12,270).
The most common countries of origin for the refugees were Iraq (22,200 applications, an increase of 77 percent), China (18,257, down 1 percent), Russia (15,730, down 27 percent), Serbia-Montenegro (15,647, down 29 percent) and Turkey (8,700, down 27 percent).
There was also a marked increase in the number of asylum seekers from Lebanon (up 66 percent), Eritrea (up 59 percent), and Bangladesh (up 42 percent).
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news