West Africa scheme to start next year

The first arrivals of the government’s West African
resettlement programme are expected to arrive in the UK early next

Delegates were told that genuine people in need of a safe haven
were being identified in their countries of origin and brought to
the UK.

“This demonstrates that this country can be welcoming for people
fleeing persecution,” Jonathan Duke-Evans, head of social policy at
the Home Office’s Immigration and Nationality Directorate,

He added that many people had criticised government attempts to
prevent people entering the UK illegally as illustrating a lack of
commitment to asylum seekers. But the resettlement programme showed
that “that charge is not fair”.

He said the Home Office needed to know more about the lives of
refugees in this country, such as what factors influenced their
success in employment. The government hoped to announce plans for a
study in this area “before very long”.

Duke-Evans acknowledged that the media portrayal of asylum
seekers was “indiscriminately hostile” and that, to tackle this,
the government needed to prove that the system was under

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