Thousands of lost children reach Austria

Thousands of lost children reach Austria
Posters from a demonstration in support of asylum seekers. Photo: APA/OCZERET
According to the answer to a parliamentary question, during 2014 a total of 31,274 refugees and asylum seekers were registered arriving in Austria, of whom 1,984 were unaccompanied children.
The majority of the refugees and asylum seekers were male, consisting of over 22,000 men.
Interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner of the conservative People's Party revealed additionally that 9,000 of the refugees were children – of whom, 1,984 came without parents or guardians.
Around 7,000 people were granted asylum in Austria last year, according to figures from the new federal office for asylum seekers (BFA).

The BFA was set up in January 2014 and received a total of 28,027 asylum applications in its first year, over 10,000 more than in 2013. This was due to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

“39 percent of asylum applications were recognised,” BFA director Wolfgang Taucher said. 7,266 asylum seekers lost their right of residence, 1,619 people were deported and almost as many were transferred to the first EU country they arrived in, in accordance with the Dublin II Regulation.

Syrians made up the largest number of asylum seekers, with 7,754, and many of those were granted asylum under the UN Refugee Convention. The second highest number was from Afghanistan, with 5,070. Taucher said many of the Afghan cases were more complicated and some applicants were sent back. 1,996 applications came from Russia, primarily from Chechens.

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