The world is becoming less tolerant of migrants, according to a poll released on Wednesday as Europe prepared to unveil a new asylum plan in the wake of a blaze at an overcrowded camp in Greece that left thousands without shelter.
Seven European countries, led by North Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia, topped the Gallup index of the world’s least-accepting countries.
But the sharpest changes in attitude were in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, which have seen an influx of Venezuelans fleeing turmoil at home.
Canada was the most welcoming country, followed by Iceland and New Zealand, according to the index based on more than 140,000 interviews in 145 countries and regions.
The poll asked people their views about having migrants living in their country, becoming their neighbours and marrying into their families.
Index scores ranged from 1.49 in North Macedonia to 8.46 in Canada, just below the maximum possible score of 9.
Gallup migration expert Julie Ray said the slight global fall in acceptance – 5.21 in 2019 down from 5.34 in 2016 – was driven by marked changes in Latin American countries.
Peru’s score tumbled to 3.61 from 6.33 in 2016, while the number of Colombians who said migrants living in their country was a good thing dropped to 29 percent from 61 percent.