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Applications to UNHCR RSD down in 2010, recognition rate stays high

September 21, 2011

Refugee status applications to UNHCR offices worldwide declined to 96,800 in 2010, after topping 114,000 in 2009. The decline roughly followed a global trend, with applications to government-run RSD systems also dropping in 2010.

UNHCR accounted for around 11 percent of all RSD applications worldwide, down from 13 percent in 2009. But UNHCR continues to be one of the two largest RSD decision-makers.

The largest RSD decision-maker continues to be the government of South Africa, which received 180,637 asylum applicants. The United States had the next largest government RSD system with an estimated 54,300 applicants, far less than UNHCR.

The recognition rate in UNHCR RSD remained high at around 83 percent, compared to less than 35 percent for government-run RSD. UNHCR’s global recognition rate has remained consistently over 75 percent each year since 2005. Every UNHCR office that decided 1000 or more cases in 2010 posted a recognition rate of at least 57 percent.

UNHCR offices reached decision in only 57,832 new applications, and faced a global RSD backlog of more than 116,000 cases at year’s end.

(The data reported here are from UNHCR’s 2010 Global Trends, and its statistical annexes.)

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