France: Record 100,000 Asylum Applications in 2017


The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra) has announced that France received a record-breaking 100,412 asylum applications in 2017, with many of the asylum seekers coming from Africa.

The asylum application total shows an increase of 17 per cent compared to figures from 2016 and has also seen the emergence of asylum seekers from new origin countries, mainly in Africa, Le Monde reports.

Among the top 10 nationalities seeking asylum, African countries made up over half of the nations of origin. The largest and fourth overall were asylum seekers from Sudan, followed by Guineans and other asylum seekers from French-speaking countries like Ivory Coast and Congo.

Since his election in May of last year, President Emmanuel Macron has taken steps to curb the influx of migrants from Africa and was able to secure a deal with Niger and Chad last year to allow the passage of a smaller number of vetted migrants.

Last month, France brought over the first of the 3,000 migrants from Africa, with 19 Sudanese arriving in the country where they are now accommodated at a monastery in Alsace.

While President Macron has been able to secure deals to stem the flow of mass migration, he has also been somewhat candid about the cause. Last year he became embroiled in a minor scandal after mentioning that Africans have too many children.

According to French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, the number of illegal migrants living in France currently could be as high as 300,000, although others have put the number as high as 400,000.

The number one country for asylum seekers to France in 2017 was Albania, up 66 per cent from 2016.

Many asylum seekers end up in makeshift camps in Paris and elsewhere across the country. Recently in the city of Reims, a group of around 40 asylum seekers created a camp near the University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes forcing the university to close the campus until the area could be declared safe for students.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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