Asylum seekers breaking records in Norway

refugeeIt is shaping up to be a record-breaking year in Norway for asylum seekers. Conflicts around the globe are forcing people to flee their own countries in search of safety and a better quality of life, and Norway is one of the more popular destinations.

The Norway Post reports that about 9,900 foreigners have arrived on Norway’s shores seeking asylum so far this year. This number represents a 45 percent increase compared to the same period in 2008, according to the latest estimates from Norway’s Immigration Directorate.

If this trend continues, 2009 will see the largest number of asylum seekers ever to descend on Norway. In 2008, 14,400 people came to Norway seeking asylum, which was nearly double the number from 2007. Norway is known to be fairly receptive to people suffering from conflict in their homelands. It has granted asylum to about 40 percent of the applications it has processed so far this year.

Of the 9,900 people who have applied for asylum so far, around 5,700 of them come from Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea or Afghanistan. Of these, 1,417 state that they are minors, the vast majority of which hail from Afghanistan.

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