Refugees and asylum seekers

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Who call we refugee or asylum seeker in Belgium ?

In Belgium, we define the refugees according to the terms of Geneva Convention, as in the remainder of the European Union:

A refugee is a person who, fearing with reason to be persecuted because of its race, its religion, its nationality, its membership of a certain social group, its political opinions and is out of the country of which it with nationality and who cannot, or because of this fear, does not want to claim protection of this country or who, if it does not have nationality and is out of the country in which it had her main home, cannot, because of the aforesaid fear, does not want to remain there.

Asylum seeker is an individual who claims protection of a State under the terms of Geneva Convention or other reasons like medical reasons. A report/ratio of the foundation King Baudouin shows that the requests for asylum know important variations of nationalities. One attends with an increased diversification and an Europeanization of the requests for asylum, especially under the effect of the crisis of Balkans occurred these last years. The natives of ex-Yugoslavia accounted for 30% of the requests for asylum between 1995 and 1999. In 2001, in signal 10 of the requests for asylum, only three countries are not European : Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Arménie. Half of the requests for asylum in Belgium are introduced by people originating in zones of conflict. The principal countries of origin of request asylums in 2006 were Russia (1582 files, + 10% compared to 2005), the Democratic republic of Congo (843, -33,7%), Serbia Montenegro (778, -35,3%), Iraq (695, - 23%) and Iran (631, + 27%). If one adds Guinea, Arménie, Turkey, Rwanda and Afghanistan, these 10 principal countries of origin then account for 55,6% of the whole of the requests for asylum.


Agence Fédérale pour l'Accueil des Demandeurs d'Asile.Centre d'accueil : la vie comme elle est. Bruxelles : Agence Fédérale pour l'Accueil des Demandeurs d'Asile.2004.

Explications des procédures d'accueil et du fonctionnement des centres .

In french, dutch and english :

SIREAS. Analyse sociologique de la situation des réfugiés burundais en Belgique dans la perspective d'un retour au Burundi. Bruxelles : SIREAS. 2004 Only in French :

SIREAS. Quelques principes et questions pratiques sur l'apatridie. Bruxelles : SIREAS. 2004. In French :

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