NEWS IN SHORT

Number of asylum seekers stabilised

The number of people applying for asylum in Slovakia has stabilised after falling since 2005, the TASR newswire reported, citing Emília Kočišová from the Interior Ministry.

The number of people applying for asylum in Slovakia has stabilised after falling since 2005, the TASR newswire reported, citing Emília Kočišová from the Interior Ministry.

In the first five months of 2012, 184 asylum applications were filed with the Slovak authorities, while 10 applicants complied with the conditions and were granted asylum during the same period. The figures represent a sharp decline when compared to just a few years ago: 3,549 foreigners requested asylum in 2005, but only 25 were successful. The ministry interpreted this trend as being a result of Slovakia’s stabilised migration and asylum policies, well-protected state borders and changes in migration patterns. Slovakia is mainly a transit country.

“The target countries are characterised by existing communities of people from the countries of [the immigrants’] origin as well as higher standards of living,” said Interior Ministry migration office director Bernard Priecel as quoted by TASR.

Most asylum-seekers listed in Slovakia have come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, India, China, Vietnam, Turkey, Somalia and Russia. Most are men aged between 18 and 39. Slovakia grants asylum to those who can prove a justified fear of persecution due to racial, national and/or religious reasons, and/or because their affiliation to political views and/or their membership of certain social groups puts them at risk. Humanitarian reasons and reuniting families are also considered in the application process.

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