Our comment on the latest statistics from the Home Office - Refugee Council
February 29, 2024

Our comment on the latest statistics from the Home Office

Commenting on the quarterly statistics released by the Home Office today relating to the year ending December 2023, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:


“The fact that over 60,000 people were granted asylum last year – the highest number since records began, making up two-thirds of decisions in 2023 – clearly shows that the vast majority of men, women and children coming to the UK in search of safety are refugees escaping  from countries such as Afghanistan, Syria and Iran where they face torture, persecution and death.

“Despite the work to reduce the backlog, there are still over 128,000 men, women and children stuck in limbo waiting for a decision. The Government’s unworkable and unprincipled Illegal Migration Act and Rwanda plan are creating a new ‘perma-backlog’ of cases that cannot be processed, with tens of thousands of refugees facing an indefinite wait, unable to get on with their lives and at risk of destitution, exploitation and abuse.

“Since the existing inadmissibility rules came into force in 2021, only 25 people have been removed from the UK – 0.07% of those issued with notices of intent. Shutting down the asylum system simply doesn’t work. Upholding the right to asylum is as important as ever and we must not turn our backs on people who want to be safe in our communities.

“We are also very concerned by the high numbers of withdrawals made last year, with over 25,000 people having their asylum claim withdrawn – amounting to a quarter of all “decisions”. Withdrawals should never be used as a way to reduce the backlog and should only be employed in certain very specific circumstances. Having a claim unduly withdrawn can have terrible consequences for people from countries such as Afghanistan Syria and Iraq: instead of being recognised as refugees in need of protection, they are ending up destitute and cut off from much needed support. It’s crucial that each asylum claim is considered on its merit and receives a proper decision.”