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Question

554. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice the number of asylum applications from Afghanistan between 1997 and to date in 2021; the number given some form of international protection in Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43669/21]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): The International Protection Office (IPO) of my Department is responsible for examining all international protection applications received. The staff of the IPO (the Chief International Protection Officer and the International Protection Officers) are independent by law in the exercise of their international protection functions.  
The table below shows the number of applications for international protection received from persons providing Afghanistan as their nationality between 1997 to date, broken down by year of application. 

Year of Application Number of Applications
1997 6
1998 8
1999 13
2000 7
2001 25
2002 7
2003 24
2004 106
2005 142
2006 88
2007 78
2008 79
2009 68
2010 69
2011 67
2012 31
2013 32
2014 25
2015 124
2016 121
2017 75
2018 92
2019 112
2020 72
2021 to date (end July) 82
Total 1553

The table below sets out the number of decisions to grant a protection status (subsidiary protection or refugee status) to protection applicants providing Afghanistan as their nationality, broken down by year (1997 to date). The figures below include decisions granted under the Subsidiary Protection Regulation 2013 and 2006 and under both the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) and the International Protection Act 2015.
Where the number of decisions for individual countries is low (less than 6), a breakdown by country is not provided. This is for reasons of confidentiality, as provided for under Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015.   
The data in the table refers to the year in which the decision was made and not the year in which the application was made.
Year of Decision* No. of decisions to grant either refugee status or subsidiary protection to applicants providing Afghanistan as their nationality
2001 <=5
2002 0
2003 <=5
2004 18
2005 19
2006 26
2007 16
2008 23
2009 36
2010 17
2011 16
2012 7
2013 12
2014 50
2015 55
2016 66
2017 18
2018 76
2019 78
2020 67
2021 to date (End July) 13

*The earliest statistics available in respect of ministerial decisions are for 2001.
My Department is currently reviewing all international protection applications on hand from Afghan nationals with a view to expediting their progress. This is in line with updated advice provided by UNHCR in recent weeks. These applications are already prioritised, as agreed with UNHCR. The processing of these applications takes full account of whether a person will be in danger if not provided with a permission to remain here.