It has recently come to light that the Home Office has been running a pilot campaign in some of its reporting centres targeting asylum seekers with a messages such as to ‘ask about going home’ and stating that ‘going home is simple’ . This campaign is the latest in a series of initiatives that have been run by the Home Office over the summer, which have been heavily criticised, and shows little sensitivity to those visiting the offices who may be awaiting a decision on their asylum claim, or cannot return.
In response to this latest initiative, Lisa Doyle, Advocacy & Influencing Manager at the Refugee Council, said:
“We are concerned that this initiative may cause distress to asylum seekers who have fled persecution and conflict, and are seeking safety in the UK. For those attending the reporting centres while awaiting a decision on their claim, being told to ‘ask about going home’ will give them little confidence that they will receive a fair hearing. Those who are refused asylum are informed about their options for return when they receive their refusal, so there is no need to publically display these insensitive messages to people who will have a genuine fear of going back to their countries of origin.”