Report finds huge failings in asylum system

By agency reporter
April 1, 2008

Church Action on Poverty (CAP) has warmly welcomed a new report which finds significant failings in the UK asylum system.

The report condemns the Government policy of making refused asylum-seekers destitute, adding further weight to CAP's calls for an end to what they term the 'inhuman' treatment of people in need.

CAP's National Co-ordinator Niall Cooper commented: "We affirm the Independent Asylum Commission's condemnation of the Government policies which make those seeking asylum destitute, and the many failings of the current system. It is encouraging to see that many citizens of the UK share our view that this is a cause for shame. We look forward to seeing the Commission's proposals for reform. However, the Government's record on these issues suggests that they will not be quick to make the necessary changes. We will continue to campaign actively for an end to the inhuman treatment of people in need."

The Independent Asylum Commission, a citizens' enquiry into the asylum system, has collected evidence from several hundred individuals and organisations. Their interim findings have been published in a report titled Fit for Purpose Yet? The report says that "the treatment of asylum-seekers falls seriously below the standards to be expected of a humane and civilised society" and that "the enforced destitution of many thousands of refused asylum-seekers is indefensible and runs the risk of placing a shameful blemish on our nation's proud record of providing for those who come here in search of sanctuary".

The Commission will publish its full conclusions in the summer, with "credible and workable recommendations for reform that safeguard the rights of asylum seekers but also command the confidence of the British public".

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