Every year countries around the world receive refugee and asylum seekers. While most people have confused the two terms, the distinction is very clear in their definition according to the 1951 Refugee Convention. A person who has applied for an asylum is referred to as an asylum seeker on the ground that he/she is at risk of being persecuted on the basis of religious differences, race, nationality, political opinion, and other forms of discriminatory practices. Social groups such as women facing violence or children facing neglect or mistreatment can also be asylum seekers. A refugee is a person fleeing civil war or natural disaster, but he/she may not be necessarily fearing persecution. Several countries around the world are synonymous with a high number of asylum seekers. These countries include Germany, Russian Federation, the US, Hungary, and Turkey among others.
Countries Attracting The Highest Numbers Of Asylum Seekers
Germany is one of the most preferred asylum seeker's destinations in Europe and the whole world. More than 300,000 refugees sought asylum in Germany in 2015 with a total of 159,900 new asylum applications registered in the first half of 2015. The asylum application was received from mainly five countries including Syria (61000 asylum seekers), Afghanistan (25000 asylum seekers), Kosovo (20000 asylum seekers), Eritrea (18000 asylum seekers) and Serbia (15000 asylum seekers). The majority of these asylum applications were due to the civil war, persecutions, and unrest in these countries. Germany recorded 60% increase in the same period of 2015 compared to 2014. Germany received such a high asylum application due to its robust economy and the efficient structure for caring for the asylum seekers.
Russian Federation had the second highest new asylum application during the first half of 2015. The country received a total of 100,000 new asylum applications during the period. The asylum seekers were mostly fleeing war or repression in their countries. Some of the asylum seekers stated that they were fleeing unfounded persecution while about 15 thousand applied for refugee status. Most of the asylum applicants were from Ukraine that was experiencing conflict at the time and preferred Russia because of its tolerance to refugees from Ukraine. Russia also had asylum application from Syrians who were fleeing war in their country.
The United States of America
In the first half of 2015 US asylum offices and immigration courts received the highest number of asylum applicants in the history of the country. While the county managed to resettle more than 25000 refugees, US receive a total of 78200 asylum application during the first half of 2015. The majority of the asylum applications were from Syria that was struggling with the war and conflicts. Burma, Iraq, and Somalia's asylum seekers also sent the application to the US during that same period.
The Problems Faced By The Asylum Seekers
Other countries that received a high number of asylum seekers are Hungary, Turkey, and South Africa. Asylum seekers face several challenges during their journey to the country of asylum and in the various camps hosting them. Movement from their country is characterized by extreme weather, long treks and even attacks on the way. Access to healthcare and other essential facilities such as schools are minimal for the asylum seekers in camps. Overcrowding usually leads to the spread of diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea. The uncertainty of ever going back to their homes or reuniting with their families has caused asylum seekers and refugees psychological torture.