Summary of key trends observed
In February, the number of arrivals in the region has increased by 49% compared to the previous month. This trend is similar to last year change between January and February. Like the number of arrivals, the reported intentions to apply for asylum increased by 65% compared to January. At the same time, the overall number of submitted asylum applications in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) has decreased by 3.5% compared to January.
In comparison to data reported in January 2020, the percentage of submitted intentions that turned into actual asylum applications in February 2020 has decreased from 11% to 8%.
For this second month of the year, 6 first instance decision was reached (compared to t15 in February 2019) from 1,364 asylum applications. The total number of new granted refugee status in 2020 was 7, 5 cases were provided subsidiary protection status while 28 other applications were rejected. Since January, 927 cases were closed, because applicants absconded the asylum procedure.
The total number of pending decisions recorded stands at 1,031 for the month of February. This is a decrease of 31.5% compared to January. This is a worrisome trend considering that the total number of asylum decisions on the first instance remains low compared to the remaining pending cases.
In February 2020, women represent over 14% (194) of the total applications compared to December 2019 (8%, 170). In addition, there were 332 children including 56 UASC (16.8%) among applicants compared to 188 (10 UASC) in January. 2020.