The increase in conflicts and human rights violations over the past decade continued in 2022. A combination of crises, including new conflicts as well as ongoing conflicts, climatic shocks, geopolitical unrest , violence and persecution, has caused millions to flee their homes this year.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in one of the fastest and largest forced displacement crises since World War II. In addition to the 4 million people who have found temporary protection fleeing the war in Ukraine, this number also includes asylum applications which have reached nearly one million.
Other situations of mass displacement, which already existed before, have persisted or worsened around the world, bringing the total number of displaced people to a historical level of around 103 million in 2022, according to estimates by the High Commissioner. United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The civilian populations of Afghanistan, Burma, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Venezuela, the northern triangle of Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) and the Sahel region were hard hit.
Thus, the number of asylum applications in the EU reached 996,000 in 2022, the highest level for six years, according to the 2023 report on the situation of asylum published by the European Union Agency for Asylum (AUEA). In addition, 39% of these requests received a positive response, which is the highest rate since 2017 in this area.
According to EU data, the majority of asylum seekers in Europe come from Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Venezuela and Colombia, and 71% of applications are made by men.
The European Union has not counted the number of Ukrainians who fled their country due to the Russian-Ukrainian war and who live in the EU, but they are estimated at around 4 million, benefiting from temporary protection specific.
The EU’s asylum agency said these figures exert ” significant pressure on already overcrowded reception centers in many countries“. In addition, many member countries of the European Union, including Italy, Poland and Sweden, are adopting increasingly strict positions on illegal immigration, the report points out.
This trend could increase as economic growth in the region comes to a halt due to interest rate hikes aimed at tackling persistent inflation. The EU saw a peak in illegal immigration in 2015 and 2016, with the arrival of 2.5 million asylum seekers, many of them Syrians.
Data from the EU asylum agency covers the 27 countries of the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. These four countries are part of the Schengen area, in addition to most EU countries. The report was released as the EU debates reforms to its asylum and immigration laws.
The overall reform process aims to share the burden of receiving asylum seekers between all member countries and to speed up the examination of asylum applications at the EU’s external borders in order to eliminate the least grounds and to facilitate the return of rejected asylum seekers to their country of origin or transit.
Thus, the AUEA pointed out in its report that the five EU countries receiving the most asylum applications are Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Italy. These countries are facing significant pressure due to the influx of asylum seekers, and more and more member countries are adopting strict measures to deal with illegal immigration.