Blunkett’s ‘zones of protection’ attacked

Refugee campaigners have hit out at proposals by home secretary
David Blunkett to develop “zones of protection” for asylum seekers
outside the UK.

Under the proposals presented last week to the European Union, the
zones would deal with claims arising from regional conflicts and
natural disasters. Transit zones could be created to process asylum
claims without people travelling to the countries where they are
seeking refuge.

Julia Purcell, head of the Refugee Council’s international section,
said the proposals undermined “both the spirit and the purpose” of
the 1951 Refugee Convention.

She warned that transit zones would result in procedures that
lacked EU safeguards.

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