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NEWS BRIEFS

Asylum-seekers are disappearing

SLOVAKIA last year granted asylum to only 20 out of 9,743 asylum-seekers, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Liaison Office in Slovakia reported February 11.

According to its spokeswoman, Mária Čierna, 8,053 asylum procedures were stopped because applicants disappeared from Slovak refugee camps, probably for western European countries. A further 309 applications were rejected by the Interior Ministry's migration office.

Čierna said the UNHCR is alarmed at the high number of applicant "disappearances", and believes they might be caused by the proximity of Slovak refugee camps to the country's borders with Austria and the Czech Republic.

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