Asylum applications drop to new low

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Only 982 asylum seekers arrived in Norway during the first half of this year, the lowest level since 1997. The conservative government coalition’s strict asylum and immigration policy has made Norway far less hospitable that it was in earlier years.

The number of people seeking refuge in Norway declined another 13 percent, according to the latest statistics released by immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet). Most still came from Syria, followed by Turkey and Eritrea.

Norwegian officials are under pressure from humanitarian organizations, opposition politicians and others who think a wealthy country like Norway should take in far more asylum seekers and grant them refuge. With thousands of asylum seekers still stranded in overcrowded refugee camps in Greece, Italy and other southern European countries, Norway has also been asked by the EU and the UN to take in more people in need.

Norwegian immigration policy has, howver, been under the control of the conservative Progress Party since 2013 and it claims Norway must first integrate the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who arrived at the height of the immigrant influx in 2015.

UDI reported that of the 982 asylum seekers arriving in Norway so far this year, 267 were children and youth under the age of 18. Of them, 65 arrived with no parents or guardians.

newsinenglish.no staff