In response to the quarterly asylum statistics published today, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“The drop in the numbers of people claiming asylum isn’t necessarily something to be celebrated. By tightening our borders without considering the needs of refugees, the UK is denying those fleeing persecution a chance to reach safety and increasing the chance that refugees will be forced into more dangerous and exploitative situations involving traffickers and people smugglers.
“Those who do manage to get here are still met with a system that too often fails to recognise their need for safety – almost a third of appeals heard in quarter 3 (31%) were successful. This means the Home Office is still getting many first decisions wrong, forcing people to endure a lengthy – and costly – appeals process to make sure they aren’t wrongly returned to face torture, persecution or even death.
“And we are appalled that 14% of those who were in detention having claimed asylum had been there for over 12 months. The UK Border Agency is clearly detaining people where there is no real prospect of removal. It is unacceptable to lock people up indefinitely, simply because they have asked for safety in this country, as is their legal right.”