The UK asylum system is strictly controlled and complex. It is very difficult to get asylum. The decision-making process is extremely tough and many people’s claims are rejected.
Initial Home Office decision-making remains poor. In 2016, the courts overturned Home Office decisions in 41% of asylum appeals. (Home Office asylum statistics February 2017)
There are particular problems with decisions on women’s claims. Women who turn to the courts for help when their asylum claims are refused are more likely to have their protection needs recognised by the courts. Women tell us that it is in part because the asylum system can feel very hostile and it is difficult for them to give full details of the violence they have experienced.
In 2016, 13,230 asylum seekers had been locked up in detention centres. Shamefully, around half of all asylum seekers find themselves detained during the asylum process. Despite the Government’s 2010 pledge to end child detention for immigration purposes, 71 children were imprisoned during 2016.
Since 2005 most people recognised as refugees are only given permission to stay in the UK for five years. This makes it difficult for them to make decisions about their future, to find work and make definite plans for their life in the UK.