In response to the publication today of the first quarterly asylum statistics for 2009, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“These statistics are a clear reminder of why providing sanctuary in Britain is more important than ever. If we just take the top few countries of origin of asylum claimants: Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq – they are all countries where violence and human rights abuses are rife and well-documented.
“Contrary to what people think, Britain does not receive the most asylum applications in Europe. France and Italy both took higher numbers last year. Offering safety from war and persecution is utterly crucial in these troubled times. We need to make sure we continue to do our bit, for it really is a matter of life and death.”