The number of asylum seekers in European Union (EU) countries is increasing, with a 28% increase in the first six months of this year. Among these candidates, Bangladesh stands out.
According to a report from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), shared by AFP on Tuesday September 5, in the first six months of this year, 27 EU member states and cooperating member states, Switzerland and Norway, have received asylum applications from EU member states. 519,000 people. Researchers. If this pace continues for the rest of the year, that number could exceed one million.
EASO reports that nearly 25% of asylum seekers in these six months were Syrian and Afghan nationals. Next on the list are Venezuelans, Turks, Colombians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. According to EASO, from January to June this year, 209,926 Bangladeshis applied for asylum in EU countries.
The organization said this was a record number of applications, surpassing the number seen in the 2015-2016 financial year. At that time, the flow of Syrian refugees to these countries began due to the civil war in Syria and about 1.35 million asylum seekers applied for asylum in the EU. The following year, about 1.25 million people applied for asylum.
In 2017, the EU signed an agreement to limit illegal migrants entering Türkiye. Under this agreement, migrants lose the ability to enter Europe. Additionally, travel restrictions were imposed during the widespread COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and 2021, further reducing the number of irregular asylum seekers.
EASO now reports that the previous trend has started to increase again in 2022. Compared to previous years, the number of asylum applications has increased by 53%. This puts additional pressure on EU member states facing a wave of refugees.
The organization also noted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has contributed to an increase in the number of asylum seekers. Pressure is increasing on EU member states to process asylum seekers from these countries, as they have different refugee statuses.
In response to the surge in asylum applications, EU member states are faced with the complex task of processing these requests while maintaining border security and adhering to international humanitarian obligations. Policies and agreements regarding the treatment of asylum seekers have been a subject of debate within the EU, highlighting the need for a coordinated approach to address this ongoing crisis.
As the number of asylum seekers continues to rise, so do humanitarian concerns. Providing shelter, food and medical support to such a large number of applicants is a major challenge for EU countries. The humanitarian aspect of the crisis cannot be overstated, as many of these people are fleeing conflict, repression and economic hardship in their home countries.
Dealing with a wave of asylum seekers is not just a matter of dealing with the immediate crisis but also a matter of long-term planning. EU member states are exploring avenues for cooperation and finding sustainable solutions. This involves increased cooperation with international organizations, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to ensure better coordination in the processing of asylum applications and provide humanitarian assistance.
Additionally, there is growing recognition of the importance of addressing the root causes of migration. Many asylum seekers are forced to leave their home countries due to conflict, violence and economic instability. Investing in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and development initiatives in countries of origin can help reduce individuals’ need to seek asylum abroad.
The increase in asylum requests, especially from Bangladesh, is a matter of concern for both the EU and the international community. This highlights the importance of developing comprehensive policies and strategies to meet the needs of asylum seekers while maintaining the security and stability of the host country. The challenges posed by this situation are complex and finding lasting solutions is critical to addressing this persistent humanitarian problem.