Who applied for asylum?
Every week in 2010, an average of 190 persons came to Norway to seek protection. They came from 110 different countries, and more than half came from Africa. A good third of the applicants were women, 2,100 were children and young people who came together with family members or other care providers, and 890 persons applied for protection as unaccompanied minors.
Five countries on top
Most asylum seekers came from Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Russia or Ethiopia. Applicants from these five countries accounted for more than half of all asylum seekers in 2010.
Almost all of the 1,710 asylum seekers from Eritrea applied for protection from the authorities in their home country. Most of them stated that they had deserted or evaded obligatory national military service.
The majority of the 1,400 applicants from Somalia stated that they came from the south of Somalia, mainly Mogadishu. Many of the applicants said that they were persecuted by the Islamist military organisation al-Shabaab. Others gave the difficult security situation in Mogadishu as their reason for seeking protection in Norway.
Many unaccompanied young men came from Afghanistan, many of them minors. In all, 980 applicants came from Afghanistan, and many of them stated that they had lived in Iran or Pakistan for a long time before coming to Norway. Many of them stated that they feared the Taliban for various reasons; some said they had been threatened and some were afraid of forced recruitment.
The 630 Russian applicants mainly came from Chechnya and Ingushetia, and many gave the security situation in the area they came from as the most important reason for applying for protection in Norway.
Most of the 510 Ethiopian applicants stated that they sought protection from the authorities in their home country. They were afraid of persecution because they themselves or someone close to them had been opponents of the regime. There were also relatively many female asylum seekers from Ethiopia compared with other countries.