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    Asylum applications rose in September

    In September, 1,797 asylum applications were made in Belgium, an increase of 21% compared to September 2013. This is the largest number of asylum applications in a month since October 2012, stated the General Refugee Commission (CGRS). Asylum seekers whose nationality is unknown were the largest group, with 229 applications, representing 12.7% of the total. According to the CGRA, these are mainly asylum seekers of Palestinian origin,

    The other main countries of origin for asylum seekers were Syria with 206 applications, or 11.5% of the total, Iraq (181 applications, or 10.1%), Afghanistan (128 applications, or 7.1%) and Guinea (81 applications, or 4.5%).

    Russia (4.2%), Eritrea (3.5%), Albania (3.2%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (2.9%), Kosovo (also 2.9%) and Pakistan (2.1%) complete the top 10 countries of origin.

    The CGRS made a total of 1,364 decisions during the month of September. Of these, 309 decisions were made in the context of the review of multiple applications.

    Among the 1,055 other cases examined by the CGRA, 417 decisions acknowledging refugee status (foreigners in fear of persecution due to race, nationality, religion, political opinion or membership to a particular social group) and 124 decisions granting subsidiary protection status (alien who runs a real risk of suffering from serious harm if returned to their country of origin, but who is not eligible for refugee status) were reached.

    The protection rate (refugee status or subsidiary protection) in September 2014 amounted to 51.3%, with approximately 541 out of 1,055. This is the first time that the protection rate has been above 50%, the statement concluded.

    Jonathan Morrison (Source: Belga)