The Refugee Council has submitted evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, which launched an inquiry into the asylum system in February for the first time in ten years. The evidence has been published on the Committee’s website this week, alongside 98 other submissions from organisations and individuals. The Committee has now begun hearing evidence from key stakeholders, such as the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.
The aim of the inquiry is to look at, among other things, the effectiveness of the screening process for asylum applicants including the Detained Fast Track, the assessment of credibility of vulnerable asylum seekers, whether support to asylum seekers is sufficient and effective, the prevalence of destitution, and whether the media is balanced in their reporting of asylum issues.
The Refugee Council’s Advocacy team drew evidence from across the organisation to highlight the issues our clients regularly face. Our evidence includes:
- How the dispersal of pregnant women in the asylum system puts their health at serious risk
- Living on Section 4 support, including how the cashless system poses risks to pregnant women
- Gaps in receiving asylum support and destitution as a result
- Obstacles people experience in finding support, housing and employment after being granted refugee status
- Problems for refugees applying for travel documents due to the new Biometric Residence Permits
- The disproportionate and discriminatory nature of some reporting of asylum and refugee issues in the media.