Many Home Office asylum decisions are incorrect which results in
asylum seekers being returned to dangerous situations, according to
a new report.
Decisions are often based on inaccurate information about the
countries asylum seekers are fleeing from, the study by Amnesty
International finds. Unreasonable assumptions are also made about
The study of more than 170 Home Office asylum refusals also found
that many claims were not taken seriously.
Government figures show that in 2002 one in five initial decisions
by the Home Office were overturned after appeal.
Amnesty is calling for an urgent review of the decision-making
process and the creation of an independent documentation centre to
provide up-to-date and accurate information on asylum seekers’
countries of origin. It also recommends better training for asylum
caseworkers and for specialist interviewers to be available for
those who allege they have been tortured.
The report criticises the government’s recent proposals to abolish
asylum seekers’ right to a judicial review and the creation of a
single-tier appeals body (news, page 10, 29 January).
Home Office minister Beverley Hughes welcomed Amnesty’s report but
said most asylum seekers arriving in the UK were not genuine
– Get it Right: How Home Office Decision Making Fails
Refugees from www.amnesty.org.uk