More than 800 people have so far applied for asylum in Slovakia this year, four times more than during the same period last year, said Bernard Priecel, director of the Migration Department of the Interior Ministry.
Currently, 100 people who have already been given an official refugee status live in the Humanitarian Center in southern Slovakia's Gabčíkovo. An additional 300 people are living in other camps pending official decisions on their cases. The majority of the refugees hail from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka.
Since the founding of the Slovak Republic in 1993, 3,000 refugees have applied for asylum here, and 500 have been successful. Priecel attribute the recent rise in numbers to the increasing credibility of Slovakia and the tightening of the Slovak-Austrian and Slovak-Czech borders.
Slovak law stipulates that everyone who fears persecution for racial, religious, or other objective reasons can apply for asylum in the country.
11. Oct 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA