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WELCOMING THE ASYLUM SEEKERS.

Byline: ALICE CACHIA

THE UK took in just a tenth as many asylum seekers as some European countries last year, relative to its population.

Data from Europe's statistics body, EuroStat, show the UK accepted 13,645 asylum seekers in 2017. That works out as one for every 4,823 people living in the country.

By contrast Austria took in one asylum seeker for every 361 of its population.

In Germany - which took in a total of 154,485 asylum seekers - the ratio was one for every 534 of its existing population, while in Sweden it was one for every 657 and in Norway one for every 1,321.

Central Europe and Scandinavia have long been bearing a substantial number of the asylum seekers coming to the continent.

In 2015, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Syrian asylum-seekers were welcome to remain in the country regardless of where in the EU they had first arrived.

As a result, in 2016 Germany took in a record 264,650 asylum seekers in a single year.

The high numbers have proved controversial in some countries, though.

In Austria, an election that saw the issue at the forefront ended with the far-right Freedom Party joining the conservative Austrian People's Asylum those who their home in another Party in a coalition government.

Overall, 15 countries in Europe took in more asylum seekers per head than the UK in 2017.

Of the 16 that took in fewer, the majority were in Eastern Europe - including Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Czech Republic took in just one asylum seeker for every 423,153 of its 10.6 million-strong population.

In the UK, at the last election, the Conservatives said they were committed to ensuring Britain "remain[ed] a place of sanctuary for refugees", seekers are have fled for safety country while also pledging to reduce the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country.

Judith Dennis, policy manager at the Refugee Council, has said: "At a time when the number of people forced to flee their homes is at an all-time high, it's clear there is an urgent need for every country to provide the support it can for people in desperate need.

"Developing countries continue to shoulder the responsibility, currently hosting a staggering 85 per cent of the world's refugees.

The UK asylumseeker 4,823 population "While the UK can be quite rightly proud of its achievements in resettling refugees, and developments with community sponsorship, the fact remains that more must be done.

"It should not only fall in the neighbours of conflict zones to provide safety to refugees - rather we need to see countries working together to ensure that refugees are offered safe and regular escape routes."

A spokesperson for Migrant Help UK said: "Working in the immigration sector, we know that there is a common misconception that the UK faces an influx of asylum seekers, when in fact its share of Europe's asylum claims is around three per cent."

accepted one for every of its last year

CAPTION(S):

Asylum seekers are those who have fled their home for safety in another country

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 3, 2018
Words:527
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