Geneva, Jumada I 09, 1434, March 21, 2013, SPA -- Asylum claims in industrialized countries rose to the highest level in nearly a decade last year as Syrians fled their country in increasing numbers, dpa quoted the UN refugee agency as saying Thursday.
The number of Syrians asking for protection in rich countries nearly tripled to 24,800, making them the second-largest group of asylum seekers, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report.
However, a total of 1.1 million Syrians have chosen to stay in neighbouring countries during the conflict, highlighting the fact that developing countries accept significantly more people from crises hot spots than developed ones, UNHCR officials said.
Asylum claims in the 44 surveyed industrialized countries rose 8 per cent to 480,000 last year, the highest level since 2013.
Afghans made up the largest group, followed by Syrians, Serbs and Kosovars, Chinese, Pakistanis and Russians.