One in four appeals now successful, show latest asylum figures - Refugee Council
May 23, 2006

One in four appeals now successful, show latest asylum figures

One in four appeals now successful, show latest asylum figures

Government figures released today show that while removals of failed asylum seekers is at an all-time high, the number of successful appeals against negative decisions has also increased.

The number of successful appeals against decisions has risen substantially to 26% overall. This includes a rate of 89% for Zimbabwe, 46% for Somalia and 44% for Eritrea. 5000 cases are waiting to be considered by the Tribunal.

Commenting on the figures, Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:

“The rise in successful appeals to 26% of all cases is the key point underlying all these figures. The Government can continue to focus on controlling numbers, but until the quality of the decisions improves, they will clog up the system with appeals. We urge them to spend more effort on improving the standard of decision making, and in particular to ensure good access to proper legal advice prior to decisions.”

Other main points include:

Applications for asylum increased by 6% on the previous quarter to total 6455, but are still down 8% year on year. The main increase comes from a 96% increase from Zimbabwe, thought largely to be the result of fresh claims by people in the UK. The 5 leading countries of origin are Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Iran, Somalia and Afghanistan.

The numbers of applicants who have been removed has increased to 4330 (4930 including dependants). This includes voluntary removals and others who have left of their own accord as well as enforced removals and represents a 42% increase year on year. The leading country is now Iraq with 605 returns.

The government claims to have reached its self-imposed target for removing more people than the number of fresh applicants who do not receive a positive initial decision to stay in both February and March.

The number of children detained for immigration (excluding in Oakington) in the 4th quarter of 2005 was up 19% to 540, 86% of which were asylum detainees. 29% had been detained for over 7 days.

Ends

For further information and interviews contact press office: Chris Pitt 0207 346 1213 (Switchboard: 0207 346 6700). For urgent or out of hours inquiries ring 0870 0555500 and ask for pager 865169.

Notes to Editors:
Figures can be found on the Home Office website