Today the government published immigration statistics for the year ending March 2022. These provide stats for asylum applications, decisions, asylum support and resettlement. We’ve summarised some of the most interesting ones relating to asylum and protection here.
Today’s stats show that the strong majority – 75% – of initial decisions made in the year ending March 2022 resulted in a grant asylum or humanitarian protection. It is clear people are coming to this country in desperate need of safety, having fled conflict, war, persecution and bloodshed and that the government is recognising this by granting them protection.
We can also see that there continues to be a rise in asylum applications, with the numbers of people submitting claims in the year ending March 2022 being 65,008 – the highest number for almost two decades. This is unsurprising and the inevitable consequence of war, bloodshed and conflict taking place across the world today, putting the lives of vulnerable families in grave danger and leading to them seeking safety here. It follows just days after the UNHCR announced that a staggering 100 million people globally have been forcibly displaced.
We remain deeply concerned by the length of time people are having to wait for a decision on their asylum claim. At the end of March 2022, 109,735 people were waiting for an outcome on their initial claim for asylum. Of these, 73,207 (67%) have been waiting for more than 6 months, up from 50,084 this time last year. Each one of these represents a person anxiously awaiting news of their fate, with no idea how much longer they will be forced to live in poverty.
Responding to these figures, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:
“It is desperately worrying to see just how sharply the backlog of people waiting for a decision on their asylum application has risen over the past few years. This leaves thousands of vulnerable men, women and children trapped in limbo, adults banned from working, living hand to mouth on less than £6 a day, and left not knowing what their future holds. This backlog is entirely the government’s own making, as they have allowed it to steadily increase over a number of years and have then used it to frame the asylum system as ‘broken’.
“This is simply not good enough. With the UNHCR recently announcing that a staggering 100 million people globally have been forcibly displaced, it is unsurprising asylum applications in the UK continue to rise and that the numbers of people submitting claims in the year ending March 2022 is the highest number for almost two decades. This is due to war, bloodshed and conflict taking place across the world today, putting the lives of vulnerable families in grave danger and leading to them seeking safety here.
“We strongly urge the government to look to address these fundamental issues and create a fair, humane and orderly asylum system that speeds up decision making, grants protection for those that need it, and enables those whose applications are denied to return safely, and with dignity to the country they came from.”