Over 1,000 Sri Lankans sought asylum in Switzerland last year
January 23, 2015 04:23 pm
People from Sri Lanka made the third largest number of asylum requests to Switzerland in the year 2014, according to government figures.
A total of 1,277 Sri Lankans requests for asylum in the “happiest country” in the world, up 87 percent from the previous year.
The number of requests for asylum by refugees in Switzerland rose in 2014 by 11 percent to 23,765 from the previous year, the highest rate in more than a decade.
The increase was the result of numerous crisis and conflict zones around the Mediterranean and in Africa, the state secretariat for migration (SFM) said in a release issued on Thursday.
People from the North African country of Eritrea made the largest number of asylum requests — 6,923, up 170 percent from the previous year.
The demand from Eritreans peaked at around 1,000 a month during the summer before tailing off later in the year with the overall increase directly linked to the wave of refugees coming ashore in southern Italy, the SFM said.
Refugees from Syria (3,819, up 101 percent) accounted for the next largest group, as people fled a civil war in that country.
Those from Sri Lanka (1,277, up 87 percent) made up the third largest group.
Las year Swiss authorities treated 26,715 requests for asylum in the first instance, up 12 percent from 2013, while granting asylum to 6,199 refugees (up 96 percent).
Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, according to the 2014 Better Life Index report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), retaining its number one slot for the second year in a row.