Summary of key trends observed
Data available to UNHCR RR SEE indicated that the overall number of submitted asylum applications in six countries in June 2019 increased in comparison to June and was the second highest in 2019 (after March). This increase is visible in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while at the same time the overall numbers of applications in other countries remains limited, and could be indicative of the previously reported trends of onward movements throughout the region. The applicants from Iraq, Morocco, Algeria and Pakistan are top 4 countries of origin stated in the Region, while applicants from Syria follow at the fifth place.
Latest data reveal different and increasing dynamics when it comes to correlation between the numbers of expressions to seek asylum versus actual numbers of lodged applications. Highest number of intentions to apply for asylum are recorded in BiH and Serbia, while less than 8% of the intentions are converted to actual asylum applications. The trend of the relevant data on the asylum decisions and grounds currently indicates that vast majority of cases are rejected and closed due to the abandonment of the asylum procedure and not on the merits of the claim. This trend should be reviewed at the end of year for reliable comparative insight to the concept of intention to seek asylum and how it actually impacts the asylum processing as well as whether it contributes to its efficacy and or would indicate possible trends in the misuse of Asylum Avenue in the countries introducing it.
Current asylum processing trend analysis indicate that out of the total of 5439 applications for asylum, only 163 first instance decisions ( only 3% of the overall number of applications) have been reached in 2019. At the same time, equally to previously indicated trends regarding very limited number of decisions, (only 29% of them correlate to granting the subsidiary protection status -only in MNE, Serbia and Kosovo, while 44% applications have been rejected). In continuation of previously reported trends, during July 2019, only 16 subsidiary protection statuses have been granted, while 13 requests for asylum have been rejected on the merits.
Total number of pending decisions recorded in July stands at above 1300. Age, gender and vulnerability indicate that number of applications by female asylum seekers in July still represents only 8% of total applications. The July trend analysis indicates some 180 children (only 17 UASC) among applicants. It is estimated that families registered constitute some 30% of the total applicants for asylum.