Syria And Iraq Conflicts Drive Asylum Claims To 22-Year High

March 26, 2015 6:18 PM

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Syria And Iraq Conflicts Drive Asylum Claims To 22-Year High

The number of asylum applications in industrialized countries surged in 2014 to its highest level since the Bosnian War, driven by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Thursday. According to its Asylum Trends 2014 report, about 866,000 asylum claims were filed last year in 44 of the world’s industrialized countries, an increase of 45 percent over the previous year. That figure is just below the all-time high recorded in 1992, when almost 900,000 asylum applications were filed as people fled the violence in the Balkans, the report said.

“Our response has to be just as generous now as it was then [during the conflict in the Balkans] -- providing access to asylum, resettlement opportunities and other forms of protection for the people fleeing these terrible conflicts,” Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said i...

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