In 2015, 134,044 refugees submitted applications to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). Of that number, 25 percent were survivors of torture and other types of violence, and another 34 percent were in desperate need of physical or legal protection.
As the UN reports, over half of the world’s refugees are under 18. The photos that we see in the media of Greek camps being full of single men is partly due to the fact that women and families are turned out from camps quickly, whilst single men are deemed fit enough to endure the conditions. The journey is so physically challenging and dangerous for women. Recently (Nov 2018), three female migrants, two of them teenagers, were stabbed to death on the land border between Turkey and Greece.
As UN High Commissioner for Refugees has noted, 84% of refugees are hosted in developing countries. Turkey hosts 3 million, Pakistan 1.6, Iran 1 million (but due to unregistered numbers, likely to be more around 3 million). In Lebanon 1 out of 6 inhabitants are refugees. In comparison, only 0.24% of the UK population are refugees.
55% of refugees come from just three countries – Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan – all of whom have been involved in lengthy and bloody conflicts. Furthermore, asylum interviews are frequently over eight hours long and often take the form of an interrogation. Applicants have to give the addresses, dates, and names of every detail mentioned, and if they fail to provide sufficient detail or if they fail to be consistent, their claim will be rejected. See more:
The Danish Institute for International Studies has found that the vast majority of terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by born and bred European citizens. The situation is the same in the US – no individual accepted to the US as a refugee has committed a terrorist attack since Cuban refugees in the 1970s.
In August 2018 the German government released statistics showing that one out of four asylum seekers had gained a labour contract in which the company and employee were paying full contributions to social insurance schemes. In some countries, such as the UK, asylum seekers are not allowed to work. In August 2018, the BBC reported on the death of a young asylum seeker who had been working at a car wash illegally, fell whilst fleeing from immigration officers, and later died from a brain injury.
The UK government website states that asylum seekers receive housing and £37.75 for each person in their household per week. That's in comparison to £257.69 per week as a single adult, or £296.35 if you're living in Greater London. See more:
This isn’t actually true. If you cross a border without a legitimate visa or passport, because you wish to claim asylum, that is permitted within international law. As stated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees: “the seeking of asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules[…] refugees should not be penalized for their illegal entry or stay”. What is illegal is denying someone the chance to claim asylum.
A 2016 survey showed that British people believed that one in six of the UK population is Muslim - the real answer is one in twenty. Similarly, "French people think 31 per cent of their country is Muslim while Americans believe the figure for the US is 17 per cent. The real numbers are 7.5 per cent and 1 per cent respectively."
In October 2017, the government forced NHS trusts to apply certain regulations. The rules compel trusts in England to charge most undocumented migrants upfront, including refused asylum seekers, for many forms of hospital-based medical care, even though such patients are often destitute. This policy has led to hundreds of people missing out on care for sometimes life-threatening conditions such as cancer.
It is a common belief that migrants only flee to Europe from their country of origin. This is not true. The number of migrants to Yemen has outnumbered those to the whole of Europe. The International Organisation for Migration has noted that nearly 150,000 migrants arrived in war-torn Yemen in 2018, compared to 134,000 across the whole of Europe. This is despite the fact that, as of November 2018, 85,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 are said to have died of starvation.
It’s part of being human that our eye is drawn to something different. But so much of the fabric of European society is based on the contribution of refugees, many of whom you probably didn’t know were refugees at all. Mo Farah (pictured) moved to Britain at the age of 8 from Somalia. Rita Ora left Yugoslavia aged 1 due the persecution of Albanians. Ed Miliband's parents were Polish Jews who fled to the UK from Nazi Germany.
There is no such thing as a bogus asylum seeker or an illegal asylum seeker. As an asylum seeker, a person has entered into a legal process of refugee status determination. Everybody has a right to seek asylum in another country. People who don't qualify for protection as refugees will not receive refugee status and may be deported, but just because someone doesn't receive refugee status doesn't mean they are a bogus asylum seeker. Read more:
Refugees are placed under critical examination upon arrival in a new country, and for years after. Read more Let's imagine that you're hoping to be resettled in the United States from where you're residing in a neighbouring country to where you've fled from. Your first challenge is obtaining asylum status, which is difficult as it stands and notoriously time-consuming. In order to be resettled, you'll have to wait another one to four years - and that's only if you managed to get asylum status.
Contrary to assumption, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says that some refugees have actually gone without medical help since ministers forced the NHS in England to impose upfront charges to access care last year. Pregnant and disabled asylum seekers in particular have been unable to get treatment, or have been too scared to seek it, as a direct consequence of both the charges and also fears that their data would be shared with the Home Office. Read more:
When Italy’s search-and-rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, was replaced by a cheaper alternative in October 2014, migrants continued to cross the Mediterranean. This resulted in 3,771 deaths. Many critics argue that deterrent policies are based on the incorrect assumption that most migrants are acting out of calculation, rather than desperation.
Asylum-seekers in the UK, like other EU countries, can qualify for accommodation and financial aid while they wait for their claims to be decided upon. However, the weekly allowance in the UK is only £36.95 per week for a single adult asylum-seeker, which is lower than many other EU countries. The equivalent weekly rate in France, for example, is £58.50. Read more: