The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) rejected claims by the Italian media last week that Italy only approves 8% of all asylum applications. In fact, the Central Commission for the Recognition of Refugee Status demonstrated that in 2004 Italy received 8,701 requests, 780 of which were then given asylum. This equals a little more than 8% who were given refugee status. However, of the remaining 91% who were refused, 2,352 were offered some subsidiary form of humanitarian protection, such as Italian residency permits. Thus, about 36% of those who had requested asylum status were able to remain in Italy.
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