MINISTRY OF PUBLIC ORDER & CITIZEN PROTECTION
Athens, 2 December 2013
Asylum Service: Almost 4,200 claims for international protection
within the first six months of operation
After six months of operation, the newly established Asylum Service has registered so far 4,189 claims for international protection. From 7 June 2013 , when the first asylum claims were registered, until 29 November , 1,670 decisions have been issued at first instance, granting international protection status to 213 applicants. Β y the end of November 2013, the percentage of positive decisions at first instance has risen to 12.8 percent.
"During the last months the Asylum Service has made considerable efforts to create a fair and efficient system of international protection," said Maria Stavropoulou, Director of the Asylum Service. "Every day we hear stories of people who have been tortured, have seen their relatives being killed, have lost their homes, whose world and lives have been destroyed. However, among those who come to seek international protection, there are many who fled their countries due to financial reasons and are not entitled to international protection."
Apart from the Regional Asylum Office of Attica, there are three more Regional Asylum Offices operating in Northern and Southern Evros and the island of Lesvos. By the end of 2013 a new Regional Asylum Office will start operating in Rhodes, while in 2014 new Regional Asylum Offices in Thessaloniki, Samos, Chios, Heraklion and Patras will open.
Of the 4,189 people who applied for international protection so far , 3,162 were men and 1,027 were women, while 171 were unaccompanied minors. The applicants came from 72 different countries , while the main countries of origin were Afghanistan , Pakistan, Albania, Georgia , Syria , Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo , Iran, Eritrea, Iraq , China, Morocco and Algeria .
Regarding the status of international protection by nationality, 24.9 percent of the positive decisions at first instance have been granted to applicants from Syria, 18.3 percent from Afghanistan, 9.4 percent from Eritrea, 8.0 percent from Sudan, 6.1 percent from Iran and 5.6 percent from Ethiopia. "It is a very difficult task to determine who is entitled to international protection and who is not," says Ms. Stavropoulou. “The employees of the Asylum Service show an admirable dedication and high sense of responsibility for the work assigned to them.”
The committees of the Appeals Authority, which examine the appeals for applications rejected at first instance, received from 11 July to 29 November 803 appeals. They have issued 462 decisions, recognizing international protection status to 20 applicants.
Statistical data Asylum Service from 7 June to 29 November 2013