death list / facts

deaths/accidents _ immigration situation _ human smugglers _ asylum situation in austria


From January 1, 1993 to February 28, 2003, at least 3777 people have died attempting to reach the fortress Europe. These are deaths that have been made public in the press. No one knows the number of unrecorded cases.

     (january-february 2003)            (40 deaths)
2002 (january-february 2002) 688 deaths (78 deaths)
2001 (january-february 2001) 474 deaths (136 deaths)
2000 (january-february 2000) 596 deaths (85 deaths)
1999 (january-february 1999) 477 deaths (21 deaths)
1998 (january-february 1998) 386 deaths (28 deaths)
1997 (january-february 1997) 348 deaths (36 deaths)
1996 (january-february 1996) 432 deaths (27 deaths)
1995 (january-february 1995) 156 deaths (22 deaths)
1994 (january-february 1994) 123 deaths (18 deaths)
1993 (january-february 1993)  57 deaths (21 deaths)


The list of documented refugee deaths was registered from UNITED for Intercultural Action, Amsterdam.
31 deaths relate to Austria.

The following incidences occurred along the eastern border of Germany between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 2001 according to the Berliner "Anti-Racist Initiative" and the "Research Association Flight and Migration”:
deaths: at least 100 persons
serious injuries 209 persons

The following incidences are also directly linked to attempts to flee to Germany:

Deportee suicides 99 cases
Death of deportees due to other reasons 45 cases
Serious injury due to suicide attempts 95 persons
Death due to maltreatment of deportees 5 persons
Serious injury in the course of deportation 33 persons

16 deportees were murdered in their country of origin, 321 deportees were imprisoned, maltreated, tortured, and 11 deportees are reported missing.

In the year 2001 alone, on the eastern border of Germany (according to the German Federal Ministry for Internal Affairs, query response from March 20, 2002 ), there were 8 officially confirmed deaths, all 8 people are presumed to have drowned. 24 people were injured, 18 suffered bite wounds from police dogs, 1 refugee was shot, 5 people were injured in the course of arrest.




At this time there are no up-to-date statistics for Austria on the number of injuries and deaths on the border. Whereas in Germany in 2001 there were 28,560 people, who attempted to enter the country illegally, according to the Austrian Ministry for the Interior, 48,659 refugees were detained in the same year at the Austrian borders. The majority of the illegal immigrants were from Afghanistan, followed by Rumania, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Iraq.

These statistics that are surprisingly high for Austria could be due to a higher number of immigration attempts, but they could also be due to the higher degree of surveillance along the Austrian border:

Austria / Schengen border: 4 officials /km
Germany / eastern border: 2,4 officials /km
USA-Mexico: 0,18 officials /km

For the border district within the area covered by the project "BORDER RESCUE", the district police precinct Freistadt registered the following statistics:

In 2000, 225 illegal immigrants were detained, of these there were:

150 Rumanians
25 Moldavians
50 people of other nationalities

In 2001, 300 illegal immigrants were detained, of these there were:

100 Rumanians
100 Georgians
110 people of other nationalities




The majority of the smugglers arrested are from bordering countries.
In 1996, 387 smugglers were arrested at the German border, of these there were:

226 from Poland
77 from Germany
18 from Czech Republic

Over 780 smugglers were arrested at the Austrian border in 2000, of these there were:

313 from Rumania
198 from Yugoslavia
144 from Germany
130 from Austria

A third of the refugees detained at the German border had assistance from smugglers, a larger number of those detained had undertaken the attempt on their own. This raises the question of whether refugees without smugglers are more likely to be arrested than refugees with professional help, or whether in terms of absolute numbers, there are more refugees who make the attempt without help.

It is interesting that about 50% of the arrests along the eastern German border are made on the basis of information from local residents. The Federal Border Protection Office maintains a free citizen's telephone service, which is manned around the clock and has its telephone numbers posted in telephone booths.




Austria is obligated according to the Geneva Refugee Convention to protect those people, who must flee from their home countries because of fear of persecution. Those who come to Austria and want to claim this protection, must apply for asylum. First the authorities check whether there are reasons to reject the application for asylum, or whether another country (third country) is responsible for the asylum application. Only then are the applicants questioned about their reasons for fleeing, which the officials then evaluate for credibility.

Of the 30,135 applications for asylum in 2001, asylum was only granted in 1,114 cases (3.7%). Since practically every refugee coming to Austria has to travel through a safe third country, they can be deported back to that country (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy).

The highest quotas of acceptance in a EU comparison are found among the following countries (UNHCR statistics from 1998):

Italy 7.112 applications 29.6% approved
Belgium 21.964 applications 25,6% approved
France 22.375 applications 17,5% approved
Great Britain 64.700 applications 16,9% approved
Denmark 5.699 applications 14.8% approved
The following countries have the lowest quotas:  
Austria 13.805 applications 5,3% approved
Greece 2.953 applications 3,7% approved
Spain 6.654 approved 3,9% approved
Portugal 337 applications 1,6% approved
Finland 1.272 applications 0.8% approved
The EU average is about 10% approved applications. In comparison, the North American quotas:
USA 44.227 applications 21,1% approved
Canada 23.800 applications 43,9% approved