The asylum statistics for the third quarter of 2008 were published today. The numbers of asylum applications remained steady, up from the previous quarter but around the same as quarter one. The most applications came from Zimbabwean nationals. The success rate at appeal rose to 25%, a percentage that was higher for certain nationalities including people from Somalia, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. It was also noted that in relation to asylum applications to the rest of Europe, the UK ranks 11th in terms of asylum applications per head of population.
In response to the publication of the 3rd quarterly asylum statistics today, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“Despite recent comments by the Immigration Minister about the appeals process, once again the statistics show the vital role the appeals process plays in ensuring people get the protection they need here in the UK. A quarter of appeals were successful in the 2nd quarter of 2008, rising to over 60% for nationals of Ethiopia, and 40% for Somali nationals.
“The top five countries from which people were fleeing are Eritrea, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Iran and Iraq. All countries where human rights abuses are rife, and which are recognised as extremely dangerous.
“This is not the time to be ramping up the rhetoric, and accusing people seeking safety in the UK of being economic migrants. We should be looking for ways to get more decisions right first time, to make sure we are protecting people who desperately need our help.”