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UNHCR RSD applications up 62 percent in 2009

June 15, 2010

RSD applications to UNHCR offices

UNHCR published its annual global statistical report today (see here), and it shows that applications to UNHCR’s refugee status determination procedures increased dramatically in 2009, reversing three years of decline. UNHCR offices received 119,100 individual RSD applications, compared to 73,400 in 2008.

“The recent increase is primarily due to the higher number of applications registered with UNHCR offices in Malaysia and Somalia,” UNHCR said in the report.

Of the applications filed with UNHCR offices, 114,000 were new instance cases, while 5100 were appeals. UNHCR offices accounted for 13 percent of all RSD applications in the world, up from just over 8 percent the year before. RSD applications in industrialized states held steady.

South Africa remained the largest RSD decision-maker in the world last year, but this increase in applications to UNHCR is nevertheless a tremendous shift.  The last time UNHCR offices received more than 100,000 RSD applications was in 1998, when more than 50,000 applications were filed in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Over the next week, RSDWatch will be looking more closely at the new UNHCR data.

Related page: Where UNHCR-RSD happens.

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