Asylum requests in Belgium up by 20% since start of year
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    Asylum requests in Belgium up by 20% since start of year

    Over 15,000 requests for asylum were lodged in the first seven months of 2019. Credit: © Belga

    Over 15,000 asylum requests were lodged in Belgium during the first seven months of 2019, marking a hike of 20% in comparison to last year’s figures.

    Figures show that up until July, a total of 15,326 people requested asylum in Belgium, according to reports by BX1 on Friday.

    While the numbers remain well behind those recorded at the peak of the 2015 migration crisis, when almost 45,000 requests were reportedly lodged, the 20% hike still represents a work overload for officials, the outlet says.

    The majority of the requests are lodged by Afghan (1,778), Syrian (1,703) and Palestinian (1,701) nationals, the outlet says, reporting on figures by the Commissioner-General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRA).

    Demands by Palestinians have seen a surge in recent years, the outlet reports, citing over 4,000 requests by Palestinians counted by the CGRA in only a year and a half.

    The percentage of asylum requests granted has dropped slightly in only a year, going from 49.1% to 41.3% during the first seven months of the year.

    A CGRA representative said that the change stemmed not from a policy change on their part.

    “We deal, for example, with cases of Syrians who have been recognised as refugees by other European Union country but who, unhappy with their situations there, come try their chances in our country.”

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times