Dramatic drop in number of asylum seekers living in centres

Fewer asylum seekers are applying and more are being sent home

The number of asylum seekers living in centres has dropped dramatically, reports Politiken newspaper.

Only 5,300 asylum seekers are currently living in centres, compared to 6,246 in September.

Anna la Cour, the head of asylum for the Red Cross in Denmark, says that the low number is because asylum applications are being processed more quickly. A fast-track system for Syrians fleeing the Civil War has also enabled many to move out of the centres.

READ MORE: Asylum seekers disappear en route to centres

Serbians go home
The national police, Rigspolitiet, also report that they deported a significant number of failed asylum seekers in 2013 – some 2,911 individuals, which is more than double the 1,315 who were repatriated in 2012.

Last year, the asylum system was placed under particular pressure from a sudden surge of ‘groundless’ applicants from Serbia who allegedly applied with the misguided belief that they could claim money to return home.

Instead, they had their rights for pocket money revoked, leading to a significant drop in the number of Serbian applicants. There were just eight Serbian applicants in November 2013 compared to 159 in February 2013.

READ MORE: Easier to reject Serbian refugees

Successful repatriations
Some 658 Serbians have so far been sent home, including 107 in a single chartered flight to Belgrade.

Politiken also reports that 179 Afghan asylum seekers were repatriated in 2013 after a new deal with the Afghan authorities to accept rejected asylum seekers.

Other countries to accept failed asylum seekers include Kosovo (65), Albania (26), and the Republic of Macedonia (25).