Annual immigration statistics were released today showing that the number of people seeking asylum in the UK who have waited longer than six months for a decision on their claim has reached a record high.
People seeking asylum arrive in the UK with very little, having made long, perilous journeys to safety after war, persecution or abuse has forced them to flee their homes. However, they are often confronted with long delays in the asylum system.
Responding to today’s figures, our Chief Executive Stephen Hale said:
“The number of people seeking asylum waiting for longer than six months for a decision on their asylum claim is now at record levels. More people than ever before are stuck in limbo in a system that dehumanises and damages them. This scandal must end. Ministers must urgently improve the speed and quality of decisions on asylum claims.
“Ministers must also let people work, if no decision has been made on their claim after six months. This simple change would vastly improve the lives of the individuals and families currently forced to live in a constant state of anxiety and frustration.
“It would allow people to use their skills, earn a living, contribute to the UK economy and rebuild their lives. The Home Secretary must act now.”
The ongoing campaign to Lift The Ban which prevents people seeking asylum from working has gained support from MPs across the political spectrum and more than 160 organisations, including Refugee Action.