Kurt Desplenter

Asylum requests up for the second consecutive month


According to figures released to VRT News by the Aliens’ Office, the number of requests for asylum in Belgium rose in August for the second consecutive month. In July 2,117 people applied for asylum here. This figure rose to 2,368 last month. Among those applying for asylum in Belgium are a growing number of Palestinians.    



The figures are well up on the 1,700 to 1,800 applications/month made during the spring.

The figures for August are the highest since January 2016 when 2,842 asylum applications were made. Included in the August figures are 178 people that came here as part of a relocation programme such as Syrians that were already registered in Lebanon or Turkey.  

The top three countries of origin among asylum-seekers remained the same as in July. Syrians topped the list, followed by Palestinians, mainly from Gaza, and Iraqis. The Palestinians usually enter Europa via Spain or sometimes even via Latin America. The number of asylum applications from people from Russia and Iraq is on the rise. Meanwhile, asylum applications from people from Afghanistan

In a reaction to the figures, the Federal Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken told VRT News that there has been an increase in so-called “Dublin applications”,

"These are people that had asked for asylum in another European country, often Germany, and then when the application had been rejected came to Belgium. They hope to be given asylum here but of course that won’t be the case as we follow the Dublin regulation”, Mr Fancken said.    

The Federal Government will continue with campaigns to dissuade migrants and support tight checks at the external borders of the Shengen Area. There are also to be increased measures taken to stem so-called “secondary flow” migrants. 


Top stories