The number of refugees seeking shelter in industrialised countries fell to its lowest in 16 years in 2004, says the United Nations. The number of refugees seeking shelter in industrialised countries fell to its lowest in 16 years in 2004, says the United Nations. “The number of asylum seekers arriving in industrialized countries fell sharply for the third year in a row in 2004 to its lowest level in 16 years,” said a UN news release.
At 368,000, the total number of asylum seekers arriving last year in the 38 industrialized countries was the lowest since 1988, said the UN.
In the six non-European countries, the total was the lowest since 1986.
The numbers arriving in Europe are also down to the levels of the late 1980s, although still higher than they were for a couple of years in the mid-1990s.
Sri Lankan refugees to industrialised countries also dropped marginally from 5,640 in 2003, to 5,603.
Sri Lanka is ranked 18 among the asylum seeking countries of the world in 2004.
Russia had the largest number of asylum seekers with 30,100, a majority of them Chechens.
Next came Serbia and Monten