One of the UK’s leading refugee charities is urging the government to respond to the increase in asylum applications by improving the UK’s response to those fleeing war and persecution.
Refugee Action points out that while the figures show an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year, the number of asylum applications in the UK remains low when compared to neighbouring countries.
In terms of asylum applications per head of the population, the UK remains in the bottom half; ranking 17th out for 28 EU countries. Italy has had double the number of asylum applications, while Germany has recorded almost ten times the number of applications for the year ending September 2015.
The charity says the growth is to be expected given the refugee crisis which has gripped Europe since the beginning of the summer and argues that Britain is well-equipped to protect more of the world’s most vulnerable people.
In response, Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action said: “At Refugee Action, we believe the UK government can and must help the relatively small numbers of asylum seekers coming independently to the UK. We need a system that ensures anyone seeking safety in the UK receives a quick and fair hearing and is supported to live in dignity.
“This increase should be seen within context; Europe is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. We welcomed the government’s decision to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of this parliament. But we also need to ensure that adequate protection is given to asylum seekers who are forced to make their own journeys to safety.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Refugee Action media office.