Independent Asylum Commission kicks off asylum seeker public hearings

A nationwide review of the asylum seeker system will begin tomorrow in Birmingham with the first of seven public hearings.

The review is being carried out by citizens’ organisation The Independent Asylum Commission, which will hear evidence until November and produce a report, including recommendations for reform, in 2008.
A team of commissioners, including peers a former judge and a senior theologian, will hear first hand testimony from a range of local people who are concerned about the system for asylum seekers.
Sir John Waite, co-chair of the Independent Asylum Commission, said: “Though asylum is one of the most contentious issues in the UK, everyone can agree on one thing: the system is not working.”

The Independent Asylum Commission was set up following an enquiry into Lunar House, the headquarters of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
The commission is keen to hear from any individual or organisation who is concerned about the asylum system. 
Information on how to submit evidence 

Hearings across the UK

1. Midlands: Asylum Determination Process, Birmingham, 31st January 2007 Public Hearing: 14:30-17:30 at St Anne’s RC Church, Alcester St, Digbeth, Birmingham.
Roadshow: 18:45 at St Anne’s Community Centre, Alcester St, Digbeth, Birmingham.Featuring: Music from BUMP band, drama from Actors for Refugees, interview with Sir John Waite

2. London and the South-east: Detention, London, March 29th 2007

3. Wales and the West of England: Vulnerable Groups, Cardiff, May 22nd 2007

4. Scotland: Removals, Glasgow, June 5th 2007

5. Yorkshire and Humberside: Asylum Appeals, Leeds, September 2007

6. North-west: Asylum Support and Destitution, Manchester, October 2007

7. National hearing, London, November 2007

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