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Asylum Requests In The EU Reach Nearly 1 Million In 2022

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(CTN NEWS) – According to figures released on Wednesday, almost a million people requested international protection in the European Union in 2022, reaching a level not seen since the refugee crisis of 2015–2016.

According to the EU office for asylum, 966,000 asylum requests were submitted in the 27 EU member states, as well as in Norway and Switzerland, in 2018, an increase of 50% from 2021.

That excludes the more than 4 million Ukrainian migrants who received temporary asylum in the EU thanks to a special mechanism that was implemented to prevent the collapse of already overburdened asylum services.

The surge was attributed by the European agency to the ongoing relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, rising food insecurity, and wars in numerous regions of the world.

Although the majority of people seeking asylum join the EU legitimately, primarily by plane with travel visas, some have also illegally crossed land and maritime borders, primarily through the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean.

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Refugees wait in a crowd for transportation after fleeing from Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, March 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Asylum Requests Nearly 1 Million

Syrians remained to be the most common nationality applying for asylum in Europe despite more than ten years of conflict and economic devastation in their country, with more than 130,000 applications.

Afghans escaping the escalating security, humanitarian, and financial problems that followed the Taliban takeover in August 2021 were close behind them, submitting 129,000 claims.

Third place went to Turkish applicants, whose number of requests increased to 55,000. The organization cited “democratic backsliding” and skyrocketing inflation as some of the causes behind the hike.

Asylum seekers are frequently forced out of reception facilities and onto the streets.

There are concerns that there may be an increase in unauthorized border crossings into Greece as a result of the recent earthquake that killed close to 46,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Turkey and Syria.

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Two men share a meal in a makeshift tent camp outside the Petit Chateau reception center in Brussels, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023(AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, File)

Germany To Relax Visa Rules For Earthquake Victims This Month

While Spain pledged to resettle a small group of 100 vulnerable Syrian refugees from Turkey, which is home to 4 million migrants, Germany earlier this month offered to temporarily relax visa rules for certain earthquake survivors.

Record numbers of Venezuelans, Colombians, Bangladeshis, Georgians, as well as Moroccans, Tunisians, and Egyptians sought refuge last year. In 2022, 4% of asylum seekers identified themselves as unaccompanied minors.

The European body declined to disclose which EU nations had submitted the most applications the previous year. Germany, France, Spain, Austria, and Italy are the top five, according to an internal EU migration study obtained by the Associated Press.

Last year, asylum authorities made decisions on more than 600,000 petitions, but they also received additional cases, which piled up the backlog.

For 40% of the applications examined, applicants from Syria, Belarus, Eritrea, Yemen, and Mali were given refugee status or subsidiary protection, as were the majority of Ukrainians who opted to apply for asylum rather than temporary protection.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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