The EU Member States granted the protection status to 267,360 people in 2021, with the main recipients being Syrian and Afghan, the European Statistical Office, Eurostat has revealed.
According to a recent report issued by Eurostat, the number of asylum seekers has slightly dipped, decreasing from 281,055, representing a five per cent drop over a one-year period, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, Syrians obtained protection statuses the most, representing 26 per cent of all applications approved, followed by Afghanis (20 per cent), Venezuelans and Iraqis (five per cent each), Somalians (four per cent), Eritreans, Turks, Irani, and Nigerians (three per cent, each).
While the most statuses were issued to Syrians (69,140) and Afghans (53,605), the number of unaccompanied minors peaked last year at 22,255, recording a surge of 72 per cent.
The causing factor for this surge has been attributed to the rise in the number of unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, which from 5,495 in 2020 increased to 12,270, representing a 123 per cent increase.
Out of the total of asylum seekers obtaining protection status in 2021 in the EU, 50 per cent were granted refugee status, 30 per cent received subsidiary protection, and 19 per cent received humanitarian protection.
The countries that issued the most protection statuses to asylum seekers for 2021 are France (17 per cent), Italy (12 per cent), Spain (eight per cent), Austria, and Greece (both seven per cent), with Germany being the leading country, representing 33 per cent of all protection statuses issued.
On the other hand, the country with the most asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors in the EU was Austria, accounting for 24 per cent of all applications, followed by Germany and Bulgaria, both receiving 14 per cent of all applications filed by this category. In addition, Greece received ten per cent of applications while Belgium and Romania both recorded eight per cent of the total applications.
Data from 2021 shows that 5,070 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum obtained protection status in the 27-nation-bloc. Among these, 48 per cent were issued subsidiary protection, 34 per cent obtained refugee status, and 18 per cent were granted humanitarian protection.
“Among the 23,255 unaccompanied minors who sought asylum in 2021, the majority (93 per cent) were male. 68 per cent were aged 16 to 17, while those aged 14 to 15 accounted for 23 per cent and those aged less than 14 for nine per cent,” the report published by Eurostat explains.
The majority of unaccompanied minors applying for international protection in the EU throughout 2021 came from Afghanistan, representing 53 per cent of all applications, followed by Syrian nationals (16 per cent), Bangladesh (six per cent), Somalia, and Pakistan (five per cent each), Egypt and Iraq (two per cent each), and Guinea, Morocco and Eritrea (one per cent each), while the remaining applications were from nationals of other countries (eight per cent).