ASYLUM AROUND THE WORLD


The concept of asylum has evolved over centuries from a religious precept, to a state prerogative, to an internationally recognised individual right. In recent decades, following a significant increase in the number of applications for asylum, western countries have introduced restrictive policies designed to curb unauthorised movement and reduce their responsibility for accepting refugees.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by the end of 2015 around 3.2 million individuals were awaiting a decision about their application for asylum.

Source: http://www.unhcr.org/576408cd7.pdf  Note: The number of asylum seekers in South Africa is due to changed methodology of reporting asylum applications, which has been historically under-reported. There has not been a comparable increase in the number of asylum-seekers.

Source: http://www.unhcr.org/576408cd7.pdf 

Note: The number of asylum seekers in South Africa is due to changed methodology of reporting asylum applications, which has been historically under-reported. There has not been a comparable increase in the number of asylum-seekers.

This section provides a brief history of how asylum has evolved, outlines relevant legal frameworks and key institutions and summarises the current situation globally. 

> History of asylum

A brief history of how responses to asylum seekers have evolved over time.

> International legal framework

An outline of the Refugee Convention and other instruments that inform responses to asylum seekers.  

> Key INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES

Snapshots of agencies, organisations and processes that have an important role in how governments respond to asylum seekers. 

> Asylum today: the global context

An overview of the situation regarding refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons around the world including: