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Jamaican asylum seekers top 800 in 2015 - UN report

Published:Tuesday | June 21, 2016 | 6:25 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor – Radio

A new report released by the UN Refugee Agency has shown that Jamaicans made 836 applications for asylum overseas during 2015.

The report, Global Trends, was released yesterday to coincide with World Refugee Day.

The report shows that at the start of 2015, Jamaicans had 616 asylum cases pending, and that another 836 applications were made during that year.

During 2015, 235 Jamaicans were granted asylum while 368 were rejected.

One-hundred-and-seven of the cases were otherwise closed.

The UN Refugee Agency report shows that Jamaicans were seeking asylum in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The United States was the preferred country, receiving 267 applications in 2015, Canada follows with 181 applications in 2015, then the United Kingdom with 155.

In the meantime, the report says there are currently 12 refugees in Jamaica, while there are five pending applications from asylum seekers.

Yesterday, the UN Refugee Agency noted that the Caribbean is not immune from the impact of war, violence, persecution and discrimination.

It said consistent with global trends, the Caribbean region has experienced rising numbers of asylum applications in recent years.

The number of refugees and asylum seekers in the region, rose to 2,544 in 2015, which is an increase of 140 per cent from 2014.