Joint NGO letter to the European Council on migration and refugee flows from North Africa
Ahead of the European Council on 23 and 24 June, ECRE together with 7 other NGOs, have sent today a letter to the Heads of State and Government urging them to give a strong signal of solidarity with North Africa and with those in need of international protection.
As the humanitarian crisis in Libya worsens and its impact on neighbouring countries increases, the EU’s response to the developments in the region and in particular the needs of refugees fleeing the region so far are proving inadequate. Read more
Report by Home Affairs Select Committee on the UK Border Agency
In their report on the UK Government’s Legacy programmes, the Home Affairs Select Committee stated that there was an asylum “amnesty” attached to the programme.
Asylum “Amnesty – Myth
The Welsh Refugee Council is not in agreement with this assumption. Mike Lewis CEO of the Welsh Refugee Council says “it is important to note that the asylum process is not and should not be used as a route to migrating to the UK and the asylum figures reflect this”. Many of our clients have been through very rigorous “checks and balances” before being granted status with some of them waiting up to 10 years to get a decision. Also, in 2010, figures show around 25.5% of the claims were actually granted in the Initial Asylum Process.
Refugee and Asylum Seekers
Many asylum seekers and refugees face destitution during and after the asylum process and others simply cannot return to their countries. This is the real issue in the process. Pierre, a refugee says “Whatever that I have gained in the UK over the past years, I would like to bring back to my homeland as I believe it is of no use here”. The word amnesty refers to “a pardon” of some kind which in itself suggests that asylum seekers have to be pardoned for doing something wrong which is not the case.
Refugee Convention 1951
It is everyone’s duty as members of the global community to ensure that the Refugee Convention of 1951 is upheld when a person says that he or she is in fear for their life.
When a person is granted status, WRC believe that we have actively participated in saving that person’s life and this is one of our core values. The contributions of refugees are too many to mention and it is hoped that this view of the programme will not in any way hinder the process that everyone is treated as fairly as possible and on an individual basis.