Monday, January 5, 2009

Asylum applications down 3%

The number of people seeking asylum has dropped to its lowest level since the mid-nineties, the Government said today.

Applications were down a further 3% last year to 3,866, continuing a sliding trend since a peak of 11,634 refugee applications in 2002.Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said a review of the asylum process to cut out abuse of the system was behind the decrease.

“I welcome the fact that the annual trend in asylum applications continues to fall, which I believe is a reflection of the ongoing implementation of strategies aimed at combating abuse of the asylum process and the streamlining of its procedures,” he said.

The top five countries where applicants came from were Nigeria (26.1%), Pakistan (6.1%), Iraq (5.3%), Georgia (4.7%) and China (4.7%).

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