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AOAV: all our reportsRefugees and explosive violenceVictim assistance

The Refugee Explosion – Key findings

This article is part of AOAV’s report, The Refugee Explosion. The whole report can be found here. Whilst the report introduction and methodology can be seen here. The report overview of explosive violence and refugees can be read here, as well as on refugee destinations, here, asylum law in Europe, here, and political and economic developments, here.  AOAV’s country findings for Germany, the UK, and Greece can be found here, here, and here, respectively. For the report’s overall findings please click here, or for AOAV’s resulting recommendations here. To read some of the interviews from refugees AOAV spoke to please see here. A video illustrating the key findings can be found here.

Explosive violence suffered by refugees

  • 85% of all refugees AOAV spoke to in Greece, Germany and the UK had witnessed explosive violence.
    • 61% had witnessed airstrikes,
    • 69% had witnessed shelling,
    • 58% had witnessed IED attacks,
    • 39% had witnessed suicide attacks.
  • 69% said that they or their family had been directly impacted by explosive violence.
    • 90% of those from Iraq had been directly impacted
    • 92% of those from Afghanistan had been directly impacted
  • 44% said that their homes had been destroyed by explosive violence.

States’ response to refugees fleeing explosive violence

  • Despite the substantial threat from explosive violence, only 12% of applicants from Iraq were granted asylum in the UK in 2016.
  • The number of Syrian nationals applying for protection in Germany skyrocketed from 2,634 in 2011 to 266, 250 in 2015. That year, 95.8% of Syrian applicants were granted asylum.
  • The proportion of refugees from Syria arriving in Greece rose from 29% in 2015 to 47% in 2016. Of these Syrians questioned, 53% had their homes destroyed.

Psychological support

  • Only 20% of all refugees questioned had been offered psychological support
  • European states were ill-prepared to cope with the exceptional psychological needs of refugees from war zones

Explosive violence and refugees in the law

  • The link between explosive weapons and refugees is not properly addressed in the legal framework of asylum law.
  • There were significant variances by country on their implementation of international law in regard to refugees and explosive violence
  • The EU’s response to the refugee crisis is hampered by its inadequate response to the underlying drivers of the crisis, including addressing the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
  • Deportations to Iraq and Afghanistan made by some EU member countries often fail to properly address fact that these countries remain amongst the worst-impacted by explosive violence.