There are serious concerns about the effectiveness of our current asylum system which call into question our proud history of welcoming those fleeing tyranny from around the world.
Refugee Action has recently highlighted a number of issues around access to asylum support which must be taken seriously. For example, of the cases that Refugee Action looked at, 92 per cent of applications for emergency support that were initially refused were subsequently granted when challenged. The government must ensure robust procedures are in place to investigate and resolve issues such as this and should urgently implement a streamlined system that assesses claims fairly, in a timely way, and treats asylum seekers humanely.
It is vital that asylum applications are dealt with quickly, fairly and compassionately so that people are not left waiting for prolonged periods of time for a decision. Yet, the most recent figures from the Home Office show that over 8,600 people had been waiting over six months for an initial decision on their asylum application at the end of March this year. The Home Affairs Select Committee warned earlier this year that the asylum system is under strain.
The government should carefully consider the points raised by Refugee Action and other organisations working in this area, and ensure that the processes in place result in appropriate decisions on both support and asylum claims as quickly as possible.