MPs say bill is threat to human rights

The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill
could breach human rights legislation, an influential committee of
MPs and peers has claimed.

parliamentary joint committee on human rights identified 14 areas
of the government’s bill as “causing considerable concern on human
rights grounds”.

secretary David Blunkett’s plan to prevent asylum-seeking children
in accommodation centres from attending mainstream schools was one
area singled out for criticisms.

“Separate education on the basis
of ethnicity or national origins breeds and entrenches social and
educational inequality, and inhibits or even deters integration,”
said the report of the committee.

committee also singled out clause 81 of the bill, which gives
immigration officers the power to deport some asylum seekers
immediately if their applications were judged to be “manifestly

has been concern that asylum seekers would be returned to countries
where they would be in danger before having the opportunity to
appeal against the decision.

committee also condemned Home Office delays in responding to its
questions, which meant that it could not complete its report before
the bill was considered by the House of Commons earlier this

It has
recommended that in future the timetable for legislation should be
delayed if departments cannot meet deadlines for replying to the
committee’s recommendations.

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