In response to the publication of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Report, Human Rights and Democracy, last week, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council said:
“We welcome the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s report as a sign of our government’s commitment to promoting and protecting human rights in countries around the world, and which is particularly timely in light of recent events in the Middle East and North Africa.
“It should be noted that included in the list of 26 countries of major concern to the government, are the top countries where most people seeking asylum in the UK come from. At the Refugee Council, we work on a daily basis with people who have escaped human rights abuses and persecution in these countries, including Iran, Afghanistan and Eritrea, so we are pleased the government has recognised them as areas of particular risk.
“We urge the government to work with NGOs and country experts to continue this good work to help improve the situation in those countries, as well as other places where human rights abuses are rife. But moreover, they must follow up this commitment by ensuring people fleeing human rights abuses in countries around the world can access a fair asylum system here in the UK so they can get the protection and support they so often need.”