Many Home Office asylum decisions are incorrect resulting in
asylum seekers being returned to dangerous situations in their own
countries, according to a new report, writes Amy
The study, carried out by Amnesty International, found many
decisions are based on inaccurate information about the countries
asylum seekers are fleeing and unreasoned decisions about people’s
Government figures show that one in five of the Home Office’s
initial asylum decisions were overturned after costly appeals in
The study of over 170 Home Office asylum refusal letters also
found that a “negative culture” meant that many claims are not
being taken seriously.
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen called on the
government to “urgently review” the decision making process to
ensure it gets more decisions right from the start.
The charity goes on to recommend the creation of an Independent
Documentation Centre to provide up-to-date and accurate information
on asylum seekers’ countries of origin.
It also calls for better training for asylum caseworkers and for
specialist interviewers to be available for asylum seekers who
allege they have been tortured.
Amnesty Internation UK director Kate Allen said: “The appeals
system is presently the only thing keeping thousands of people each
year from persecution. When initial decision-making is so
frequently wrong, reducing appeal rights…could mean returning
people to execution or torture.”
Home office minister Beverly Hughes said she welcomed Amnesty’s
report, but that the majority of asylum seekers coming to the
United Kingdom were not genuine refugees.
‘Get it right: How Home Office decision making fails