Today Prime Minister David Cameron called for a ‘fairer and faster immigration system’. This must include a fairer and faster asylum system.
The ONS immigration statistics published today show the largest proportion of people going through our asylum process are fleeing conflicts and human rights abuses in Eritrea and Syria. Forced to risk their lives to reach safety in the UK, these men, women and children will then spend months to years navigating a complex and bewildering asylum process.
Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, said:
“To make the asylum system faster and fairer, decisions must be right the first time and people need better access to legal advice.
“To make the asylum system faster and fairer we also urgently need more safe and legal ways for people fleeing some of the world’s worst conflicts to gain the protection they need. This includes increasing the shamefully small number of resettlement places currently offered by the UK.”
For further information and interview please contact the Refugee Action media team.
Summary of immigration statistics for year ending March 2015:
- There were 25,020 asylum applications in the year ending March 2015, an increase of 5% compared with the previous year (23,803). The number of applications remains low relative to the peak number of applications in 2002 (84,132).
- A large number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Eritrea (3,552) and Syria (2,222). This is an increase on 2013 when there were 1,570 application from national from Eritrea and 1,722 from Syria.
- The UK had the fifth highest number (31,400) of asylum applications within the EU in 2014. In 2014, four EU countries received more asylum applicants than the UK – Germany (166,800), Sweden (81,300), France (63,100) and Italy (56,300).