In response to the Migration Observatory’s report Thinking Behind the Numbers published yesterday into public attitudes on migration, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“It is worrying, though perhaps not surprising, that the majority of people would reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to the UK over other groups of immigrants, despite the fact they make up just 4% of the immigrant population.
“We know there are huge misconceptions about who asylum seekers are and numbers coming here. Contrary to public belief, asylum seekers have often fled conflict, violence, and torture in their own countries and are simply looking for a place of safety here, and numbers of people applying for asylum here are actually the lowest in a decade.
“As the research points out, the UK is bound by its commitment to the UN Convention for Refugees, and until there are no reasons for people to flee their own countries, we must uphold our responsibility to protect people seeking safety here. Meanwhile, there is clearly much work to be done to change negative attitudes to asylum seekers in public debate, so we welcome the Migration Observatory’s fascinating research into this area.”