BERLIN (Sputnik) — Over 200 refugees, mostly from Syria and Eritrea, have started legal proceedings in seven courts in North Rhine–Westphalia in western Germany against the country's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, local media reported Wednesday.
According to the Rheinische Post newspaper, the refugees are demanding that the migration authorities process their asylum applications faster so that they can work and study. Some of the applications are said to have been under review for over a year.
The publication noted that nearly 250,000 unprocessed applications for asylum in Germany were pending at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in the summer, while currently the number amounted to 360,000.
Germany has been the main destination for thousands of refugees coming to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa since the start of 2015. According to the country's Interior Ministry, over 1.1 million refugees arrived in Germany in 2015.
Recent attacks in German cities, especially in Cologne, where hundreds of women were robbed, threatened and sexually assaulted by small groups of aggressive men, allegedly mostly of Arab and North African origin, fueled the internal debate on German policy in relation to migrants.
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