Government violates Geneva Convention

The government is violating the Geneva Convention by deporting
asylum seekers whose claims have failed to warring and dangerous
countries, according to a report published yesterday,
writes Amy Taylor.

The study, by the charity the Institute of Race Relations,
states that in recent years the government has carried out forced
deportations to Southern Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo
and Zimbabwe, despite them being unsafe.

It adds that the government is also putting ‘extreme
pressure’ on Iraqis to return to their home country even
though safe return is not guaranteed.

The Geneva Convention states that: ‘No contracting state
shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the
frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be
threatened on account of his, race, religion, nationality,
membership or a particular group or political opinion.’

The report goes on to state that under the Convention asylum
seekers cannot be penalised for entering a country of refuge
illegally as long as  make their asylum claim promptly and show a
good reason for their entry. But it highlights how the Asylum and
Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004 creates a new
criminal offence for those arriving with no documents.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Each asylum claim is
considered by the Home Office on its individual merits, in
accordance with our obligations under the 1951 UN Refugee
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the European
Convention on Human Rights.”

Meanwhile other new research has found that asylum seekers may
be more distressed by their experience of life in the UK than they
are by the imprisonment and torture they suffered in their country
of origin.
A study published in the Journal of Public Mental Health found
asylum seekers in Newcastle experienced stress caused by
immigration status, racial harassment and separation from
Very few had received treatment from specialist mental health
services although some reported excellent treatment from GP

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