In the past, people were often emigrating from the Czech Republic. In the history of the 20th century there were several waves of emigration abroad from our country. For example, many people fled in between 1938-1939, after the signing of the Munich Agreement which meant the loss of part of our country’s territory.
Likewise, the persecution of Jews, Roma, LGBT persons and those who resisted the Nazi regime created further emigration from the Nazi occupied Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Another wave of exiles came after the February 1948 coup. When the Communists took power over the country, many who were persecuted by the Communists or disagreed with Communism left.
vIn addition, some of our country’s people fled after the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968. This event ended the ”human face of communism” and started the tightening of the regime. Most people, who emigrated, left in 1968-1969.
Nowadays, the Czech Republic has become more of a destination for immigrants than in the past, however the number of immigrants is very low compared to some other EU countries. In 2016, 1478 persons applied for international protection in the Czech Republic and according to the statistics of the Ministry of the Interior, 148 asylum seekers were granted asylum. The highest number of applicants for asylum in 2016 came from the following countries: Ukraine, Iraq, and Cuba.
Interestingly enough, this is by no means the highest number of refugees we’ve hosted. On the contrary, in the Czech Republic, during the 1990s, many Yugoslav citizens were granted temporary protection so that they could remain here for the duration of the war in Yugoslavia. Higher numbers of applicants from other countries appeared in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The largest number of asylum seekers appeared between 2003 and 2004, when 15 856 people from the Caucasus region asked for international protection because of wars in Georgia and Chechniya.
The number of asylum seekers has fallen steadily since 2003. In 2013, the number of asylum seekers even reached a historic minimum. Since then, in spite of a so-called refugee crisis in 2015, the numbers of refugees never rose significantly.