Today, UNHCR has released its midyear asylum trend. Predictably, Eritrea is in the top 5 countries of origin of asylum seekers. But what the report wont tell you is the labels “asylum seekers” and “refugees” are highly subjective terms that are strongly influenced by politics.
No where is this point more glaring than in the statistics provided by European countries on all asylum applications. As the data below shows, when it comes to asylum cases in the West, Eritreans receive the VIP treatment.
All asylum applications:
France: “nearly 90 percent being rejected” 
United Kingdom: “the rejection rate is around 62 percent” 
Switzerland: 85% of asylum claims were rejected 
Sweden: “Sweden grants asylum to about a third.” (67 percent rejection rate) 
Eritrean asylum applications:
France: 55% accepted, 45% rejected 
United Kingdom: 81.6% accepted, 18.4 rejected 
Switzerland, 88% accepted, 12% rejected 
Sweden: 100% accepted, 0% rejected 
How can the EU justify this preference for Eritreans? Why are Eritreans special? With so many countries and people facing wars, famine, and even genocide in Africa, why place Eritrean migrants as a top priority?
The only rational explanation for many EU countries showing preference for Eritreans is because it’s politically motivated. It’s intended to weaken Eritrea by unfairly rewarding Eritrean economic migrants with asylum statuses. This high rate of acceptance of Eritrean asylum cases induces more to flee, and makes other African migrants more likely to pretend to be Eritreans when entering Western countries. Thus, what you end up with is a grossly exaggerated figure of Eritreans claiming asylum in the West, which in turn is used by UNHCR to condemn Eritrea for something they themselves helped create.
It’s important to note that these western countries receive most of their information on Eritrean migrants from UNHCR officials. UNCHR, which makes it no secret it has an ax to grind against the Eritrean government, shamelessly says Eritrean migrants will be killed or imprisoned if they were to be sent back to Eritrea. This obvious lie is intended to force the hand of these Western countries to baptize Eritrean economic migrants as persecuted refugees who deserve asylum. However, as Israeli officials have found out, what UNHCR says isn’t always based on facts.
In 2013, 461 Eritrean “refugees” in Israel requested to be sent back to Eritrea. After returning them to their homeland, Israeli government organizations regularly checked up on them and found none of them were arrested, let alone killed.
“Organizations that visited Eritrea to check if the people who returned were safe reported that these individuals had not been arrested.” Said Gideon Sa’ar, Israel’s Interior Minister.
UNHCR defends its Eritrean refugee fetish by presenting lots of interviews of Eritrean migrants telling harrowing stories. The names of these migrants are always withheld, and to this date, none of the stories have been independently verified. But as some investigative journalists have found out, using the stories of migrants isn’t very convincing when the incentive to lie is so great.
In 2012, Danny Adino Ababa, an Israeli journalist who went undercover as a migrant in Tel Aviv, shed light on a popular false story African migrants like to sell to UNHCR officials in order to stay in Israel:
My cover story has not been finalized yet, but luckily I run into Jeremiah, who’s been in Israel for three years now. “What do I tell those who ask how I got into Israel?” I ask him. “Lie,” he says. “Don’t tell the whole story. The Israelis, and mostly the non-profit groups working with the infiltrators here, like to be lied to.”
“Say you were a soldier, and that if you return to Eritrea you’ll get a death sentence. Keep in mind that you must be consistent with your story. The bottom line is that everyone uses the story I’m telling you here, and this way they fool everybody,” he says. “Almost none of them arrived on foot from Egypt to Israel. None of us crossed any deserts…it’s all nonsense.”
Statistically speaking, dozens of African countries have far more migrants fleeing their country than Eritrea does. But when you hear Eritrea is a top 5 asylum producing country, that gives the illusion that Eritrea is a top 5 country with people fleeing their country, which it is not.
For example, in 2013, around 1,500 Eritreans left their country every month, according to Human Rights Watch. This figure, which is obviously exaggerated for political consumption, translates to 18,000 people fleeing Eritrea every year. In comparison, CCTV reported that Ethiopia had 800,000 of its people flee to Saudi Arabia in 2013  (66,600 Ethiopians per month). So when you compare Ethiopia’s population (93 million) with that of Eritrea’s (6.3 million), you’ll learn that Ethiopia had 44x the amount of people fleeing their country to Saudi Arabia alone than Eritrea did worldwide, even though it’s population is just 14.7x larger. That right there is more telling than the bogus labels of asylum cases that are predominantly given to Eritreans over other Africans.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what labels these migrants are given. If they leave their country permanently, then that’s all that should matter. Labeling some asylum seekers over other migrants is absurd when you consider it’s just a subjective term based predominantly on politics.
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The decision by the UNHCR to provide preferential treatment for Eritrean migrants and the flawed policy of European countries to grant collective ‘temporary protection’ to any one who claim to be Eritrean has resulted with a grossly ‘exaggerated’ figure of Eritrean asylum seekers.
Prior to 2008, for instance, there were thousands of Ethiopian migrants living in Egypt disguised as Eritreans in order to secure asylum. Later that year, the Egyptian government decided to return “Eritrean” migrants back to their home country. In the process, those Ethiopian migrants who falsely claimed ‘Eritrean’ are also got deported to Asmara along with Eritreans.
Up on arrival, the Eritrean government declared 167 out of the total returnees as Ethiopians. With the exception of one pregnant woman who required medical attention, the 166 Ethiopians who requested to be voluntarily repatriated to their country Ethiopia has been transported through the border under the care of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Embarrassed by the turn of events, the Ethiopian government later accused Egyptian authorities for forcefully deporting its citizens to Eritrea.
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 2014 EU Commission Report on Eritrean Asylum Applications