The Sun, the OECD and asylum seekers

Published: 23rd Sep 2015

"A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development indicated many migrants were not fleeing war zones.

It said: 'Syria, Eritrea and Iraq—the only nationalities covered by the relocation scheme—represented only about a quarter of all asylum claims in the first six months of the year.'"

The Sun, 23 September 2015 (£)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said this:

"Much of the recent public focus has been on the large inflows of Syrian refugees in Europe; in reality, however, the origins of refugees are very heterogeneous. In 2014, the main origin countries of asylum seekers in the European Union were Syria (21%), Kosovo (9.6%), Eritrea (6.4%) and Iraq (2.6%). In 2015, the composition shifted.

"Now, Syria, Eritrea and Iraq, the only nationalities covered by the relocation scheme proposed by the European Commission on 9 September 2015, together represented only about a quarter of all asylum claims in the first six months of the year. However, this share increased to more than one third in June 2015, and is expected to continue to grow both as the inflows from the Eastern Mediterranean route increase and as fewer asylum applications are made by Western Balkan nationals [our emphasis]."

This is consistent with what we said yesterday about the claim that only 20% of asylum seekers are Syrian.

It may have been true last year, and earlier this year. But there is evidence that most of the roughly 500,000 irregular migrants arriving in the EU (and especially in Greece) this year have come in just the last few months.

These people haven't made it into the asylum seeker application numbers yet, and a high proportion of them appear to be Syrian, according to the EU border agency, the UN refugee agency, and the International Organisation for Migration.


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