United Kingdom: Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee Report criticises UK asylum system

Monday, October 21, 2013

The report, published on 11 October 2013, describes the UK asylum system as ‘under strain’ and ‘overburdened’, and questions the ‘wholly unacceptable’ number of applicants still waiting for an initial decision after six months, which rose by 63% in 2012. The quality of decision making is also a concern, according to the statistic that 30% of appeals against initial decisions were allowed in 2012. In what appear to be connected problems, the report condemns sub-standard housing provision and a lack of transparency and monitoring of private housing providers who receive public funding. The Committee criticises gaps in the provision of support both for persons whose asylum claims have not been successful who cannot be returned and for those granted protection who have not yet gained access to domestic benefits. The report also highlights that the process for lesbian and gay applicants relies too heavily on anecdotal evidence and ‘proving that they are gay’. This had led to claimants handing over photographic and video evidence of ‘highly personal sexual activity’ to caseworkers.

Read the Asylum reportin full, and the Committee's press release.

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Reception conditions
Sexual orientation