Austria plans ad campaign to deter Afghans from seeking asylum

EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner attends a news conference during a meeting titled 'Managing Migration together' of Foreign and Interior Minister of the Balkan countries in Vienna, Austria, 24 February 2016.

Austria plans ad campaign to deter Afghans from seeking asylum


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Austria has taken to advertising and social media campaigns in Afghanistan in order to discourage would-be migrants from making the journey.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Austria is placing ads on Kabul buses and on television, as well as Facebook, to tell them not to expect a warm welcome.

In large red capital letters, Austria tells Afghans in its adverts: “No asylum in Austria” for economic reasons, adding that Vienna sets time limits for asylum, is increasing its deportations and has strict conditions for family reunification.

Austria, the last stop before Germany, the top destination for migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, has come under fire from the European Commission and human rights groups for capping its intake of refugees.

“The federal government has an upper limit of 37,500 [asylum requests this year]. In order to get to this number it is necessary to reduce the influx of refugees,” Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said. “It’s only a question of fairness to tell people in their home countries about the strict asylum laws in Austria.”

Austria received 90,000 asylum requests last year, around a quarter of them submitted by Afghans, a trend which is continuing this year.

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