In response to the publication of the asylum statistics for the 2nd quarter of 2005 Margaret Lally, Deputy Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“The government needs to stop measuring the success of its asylum policy simply on the basis of the number of people claiming asylum and start to address more fundamental problems.
“The aim of the current asylum system seems to be to stop as many refugees as possible getting here in the first place, to turn down as many asylum claims and to remove people as quickly as possible. The Government seems to believe that keeping numbers down is more important than providing protection to those fleeing persecution. That cannot be right.
“Today’s figures show that almost 1 in 5 appeals are successful, rising to almost half of all appeals on decisions made on claims from Russian and Eritrean nationals. This reflects an unacceptably poor standard of decision-making on asylum claims. The measure of a good asylum system is not in the numbers it turns away but in its ability to identify refugees who need protection and give it to them.
“Today we learn that a family – one of many caught up in new government legislation – is having to plead not to be separated from their children. The point of an asylum system is to offer a place of safety to people that need it and to deal effectively and fairly with those that don’t – this means treating people with humanity and dignity at all stages of the asylum process.”