MPs raise serious concerns about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers - Refugee Council
June 3, 2016

MPs raise serious concerns about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers

A group of MPs have made a series of recommendations calling on the Government to improve the support and protection it gives to asylum seekers and refugees.

In its latest commentary on the quarterly immigration statistics, the Home Affairs Select Committee make a number of criticisms of the way the Government is currently treating asylum seekers and refugees. Among these criticisms is a call for the Home Office to rethink the way they treat unaccompanied asylum seeking children when they reach 18, with the Committee saying children shouldn’t be sent back to dangerous countries.

As highlighted in the evidence submitted to the Committee by the Refugee Council, the MPs say the fact that 80% of appeals on asylum decisions made by Eritreans were successful in 2015 raises serious concerns about the controversial country guidance produced by the UK Government.

The MPs also call for applications for family reunion to be decided much more quickly after finding that a quarter of applications had been outstanding for more than a year.

Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Lisa Doyle said: “It’s absolutely right that MPs have raised serious concerns about how the Government are failing to protect and support children, families and adults fleeing war and persecution.

“Whether it’s by returning people who came alone to the UK as children to dangerous countries, using dodgy evidence to refuse to give people asylum, or simply not taking decisions to allow families to be reunited, it’s clear from the Committee’s report that the Government is preventing refugees and asylum seekers from being safe in the UK.

“It’s high time the Government got to grips with the problems in the system and provide protection for vulnerable people, rather than seeking new ways to shirk their responsibilities.”

The Home Affairs Select Committee also:

  • recommend that the Government should make data available on the number of “take charge” requests from other EU states
  • say they are concerned about the Government’s ability to meet its commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020
  • call on the Government to publish a timetable for the implementation of the reforms they have announced to the way the UK uses immigration detention
  • say that the Government’s reform plan “falls short” of the absolute exclusion on the detention of pregnant women recommended by Stephen Shaw.