The number of asylum applications in France has increased by 17 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, putting more pressure on the asylum system than had been expected.
The figure does not include tens of thousands of claimants who come under the Dublin agreements, that is, who have been returned to France where a first application was made.
According to Pascal Brice, Director of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), the number of official asylum seekers is at a historic high, passing the 100,000 threshold for the first time.
Of the total of 100,412 requests, the largest group by first application was not from those directly displaced by war or famine, but those who first registered in Albania. However, since Albania is considered a country of “safe origin”, OFPRA has granted protection only to 6.5 percent of those applicants. Afghanistan represented 5,987 claims, while Haiti took third place with 4,934 applications.