Already 1053 asylum applications in 2011
(CH) From January to July 2011, 1053 people applied for asylum in Luxembourg, a figure that stands in stark contrast to the 505 applications received for the of 2009. Why is that?
On Monday the ASTI, Association in support of immigrant workers published their latest figures. Laura Zuccoli, President of the ASTI told wort.lu/en that this increase in applications could mainly be explained by the fact that most asylum seekers come from Serbia.
Firstly, Serbia has no visa obligations to enter the European Union, making it easier to move around. Secondly, immigrants usually travel to countries with established, in this case Serbian, communities.
A second explanation could point towards the Roma minority. Not having the right to stay in Kosovo, they moved to Serbia and then to Europe. This is a very recent phenomena and, as Laura Zuccoli affirms, has yet to be confirmed through further research and interviews.
Faced with this wave of asylum seekers, the Ministry of Family and the OLAI (Luxembourg office for reception and integration) are struggling to find adequate ways to house refugees while their applications are reviewed by the Immigration office.
So much so that in early August, thirty people had to be housed in tents on campsites during a week. Previously, ASTI had warned several times that Luxembourg is exposed to a more abundant influx of asylum seekers. For that reason, ASTI had already suggested in assembling communes and concerned ministries together to work on adequate and preventive measures.
Laura Zuccoli emphasised that “it is not the first time that Luxembourg is confronted with such a problem,” pointing out that in the 90's Luxembourg saw many people arrive from Montenegro.
She believes that by now, all concerned parties should have had established a structured plan that would not only allow asylum seekers to be house respectfully (in empty communal houses for instance), but also adequately inform and assist the local population in order to avoid any ruffling of feathers.
A large majority of asylum seekers come from Serbia (455 in total), followed by Macedonia with 158 people. These are mostly Roma that claim discrimination in their country of origin. However, their applications in Luxembourg only stand a small chance of success because both countries are considered “safe”. Laura Zuccoli explained that although problems of pariah are known, asylum seekers must prove that they have personally been discriminated in employment, housing opportunities etc.
It's all about “different interpretations”, on the verge between general problems of discrimination and personal evidence of discrimination, she continued.
Kosovo comes next with 79 applications for international protection, ahead of Tunisia (36), Russia (31) and Bosnia (28). Having received information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ASTI also includes countries such as Iraq (24), Algeria (23), Afghanistan (20), Azerbaijan, Albania (16) and Turkey (14).