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Missing Olympic Competitiors and the 110,000 Olympic visitors set to claim asylum in UK

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I personally believe that all competitors from third and second world non British countries to Olympic games, Commonwealth games and other sporting events should be made to wear tags before they enter the country.- I am sure many readers will agree with me after reading this article from SAPA-AP (South African Press Association-Associated Press), Missing Olympians after new life in UK published Friday, 17 August 2012 explains it beautifully.  Since Friday the orignial link has expeirienced diffidulty loading.  Should you experience problems an alternative link is found at 'Missing' African Olympians may be after new life,  Both report

“Thousands of Olympians have returned to their homelands with the end of the London Games - but more than a dozen African competitors have not.”

Missing Olympians

 

". . . athletes from impoverished or conflict-ridden nations including Cameroon, Eritrea, Guinea and the Ivory Coast had been reported missing from the athletes' village.”

"I still very much love my country and it's the harsh conditions and lack of basic human rights which has compelled me to seek asylum," Eritrean steeplechase runner Weynay Ghebresilasie, 18, told The Guardian newspaper in an interview published Wednesday.

Eritrea was among the top 10 countries of origin for people seeking asylum in the U.K last year, along with Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iran, according to the London-based charity Refugee Council.

Table 3: Top ten asylum applicant producing countries, 2011 (Incl. Dependants)

 

2010

2011

% change

Iran

1,866

2,485

+33%

Pakistan

1,416

2,411

+70%

Sri Lanka

1,357

1,758

+30%

Afghanistan

1,596

1,271

-20%

Eritrea

711

810

+14%

China

996

777

-22%

Libya

90

721

+701%

Nigeria

798

714

-11%

Sudan

573

689

+20%

Bangladesh

450

612

+36%

(Asylum Statistics 2012 (Refugee Council))

Googling “Eritrea was among the top 10 countries of origin for people seeking asylum in the U.K last year, along with Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iran, according to the London-based charity Refugee Council” produced over 4,000 references to the topic. If this isn’t enough you can always have a read of the Refugee Council’s “Facts About Asylum”.

Further extracts from the news article include:

  • Salamata Cisse, head of Ivory Coast's Olympic delegation, confirmed three members went missing last week.
  • Sports minister Titi Camara of Guinea confirmed three athletes had not returned to the west African country.
  • Sports journalist N'famara Bangoura reported "They told their friends that they weren't going to come back to Guinea. Here, there is no infrastructure, no equipment, no qualified coaches for them to become good athletes."
  • Cameroon's Olympic team asked for help from London officials to look for seven athletes who disappeared after they finished their games.
  • …Missing athletes include judo competitor Cedric Mandembo and three others from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • "Visitors to the U.K. are able to travel the country without restrictions, so providing Olympic athletes have a valid visa at the moment, it would be premature to suggest that any have absconded," said Carlos Vargas-Silva, a senior researcher at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University.
  • Donna Covey, the Refugee Council's chief executive, said that Britain must protect people who can prove they need shelter from conflict because it has signed the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention.

The true number of competitors, torch bearers and visitors to the London 2012 Olympics that have gone missing is not yet known. It is believed that around 20 competitors have either disappeared from the Olympic Village or just not returned home. The total number of torch bearers that have not returned home is not known as no one has yet bothered counting them, although a torch bearer that went missing in Nottingham has now been rounded up.

The authorities also fear that up to 2% of Olympic visitors, reported by the Mail Online, may claim asylum to the United Kingdom.

Immigration officials fear that up to 2 per cent of the Olympic visitors from some continents may claim refuge in the UK in the months after the Games, potentially hundreds of individuals.

(Fears over asylum claims as six more Olympic athletes go missing when they are meant to go home (Mail Online))

The total number of visitors that came as a direct result of the games won't be known until September but is estimated to have been 5.5million. Using this figure as a base, some 110,000 visitors could be claiming asylum.

Fears for a similar misuse of visas and immigration rules should be anticipated immediately and measures put in place for the 2014 Commonwealth Games that will take place in Scotland.

Nick Prince

South East RO

 

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