Only 25% of Refugees Gained Asylum in Georgia Since 2012

Over the past six years, a total of 5,885 people applied for asylum in Georgia, yet only one quarter of them achieved humanitarian or refugee status – according to data published by the Institute for Development of freedom of Information (IDFI). In most cases of refusal, the applications were terminated by the applicants themselves (2,743 cases), while 1,346 people were rejected.

The data also shows a steady decline in the number of people requesting asylum since 2014, when the annual figure reached its peak of 1,792. Last year, there were only 379 asylum seekers.

Most applications came from citizens of Iraq, Ukraine, Egypt, Iran and Syria.

The publication says that “asylum seekers from Azerbaijan, Armenia and especially Turkey are not granted refugee or humanitarian statuses in almost all cases. Of 202 registered asylum seekers from these countries, only 5 were granted asylum in 2012–2017.”

It also says that the refugees are not given a reason for the refusal of their application. “Court judgements include neither concrete details, nor the general basis for denial,” it says.

Another analysis by the IDFI published last week about Georgian legislation and judicial practices said that the Georgian government has the right to refuse applicants if they are thought to “endanger the state security of Georgia, its territorial integrity or public order.”

The publication goes on to say that “the asylum seeker does not have specific or general information on what particular grounds is he/she refused asylum. These details are not specified in the court judgments either. Even the general basis for refusal (such as connection with a terrorist organization, for instance) is not given to asylum seekers.”

Tom Day

15 January 2018 19:00