Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2017, 11:43 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Germany

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 25 May 2004
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Germany , 25 May 2004, available at: [accessed 23 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

At the end of 2003, Germany hosted about 90,800 refugees and asylum seekers, including some 25,700 asylum seekers awaiting first-instance decisions; around 38,000 non-Albanians from Serbia and Montenegro, many with toleration status (Duldung); some 14,800 Bosnians, mostly holding toleration status, some 9,200 Afghans with Duldung, and about 3,100 persons granted either asylum or protection against refoulement during the year. Because Germany generally does not recognize persecution by non-state actors in its asylum process, many bona fide Convention refugees must rely on toleration status for protection. Accordingly, the U.S. Committee for Refugees counts certain classes of toleration status recipients as refugees in need of protection, including non-Albanian Kosovars, Bosnians, and Afghans.

Over 67,800 persons sought asylum in Germany in 2003. Over 50,500 filed first-time applications and about 17,300 re-submitted applications after a denial or receipt of another status. This total represents an almost 25 percent decrease from the 91,500 applicants in 2002.

During 2003, the largest number of asylum seekers came from Serbia and Montenegro (11,100), followed by Turkey (9,800), and Iraq (3,900).

The Federal Office for Recognition of Foreign Refugees (Bundesamt) issued decisions on about 93,900 applications during 2003, granting asylum to about 1,500 (2 percent), mostly from Turkey (713), Iran (189) and Iraq (148). An additional 1,600 persons (roughly 2 percent) received protection against refoulement (Section 51 of the Aliens Act). The Bundesamt also granted toleration (under Section 53 of the Aliens Act) to about 1,600 applicants (roughly 2 percent), and other statuses to 26,200. There were some 25,500 pending cases at the end of 2003.

Germany denied asylum and other forms of protection to about 63,000 persons in 2003. Of these, 22,700 or about 36 percent were denied as manifestly unfounded, a slightly higher than the 34 percent in 2002.

New Developments A child's advocacy group criticized Germany for failing to grant child soldiers asylum. Generally, Germany rejects asylum seekers refusing to serve in the armed forces. Authorities did not consider reasons such as having escaped forced recruitment or killing of their parents as relevant factors when dealing with child soldiers, according to the non-governmental organization Terre Des Hommes.

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