Asylum Update December 9th 2008



Journal article: Evidentiary Standards of Inquisitorial versus Adversarial Asylum Procedures in the Light of Harmonization by Staffans, L. L. in European Public Law Vol 14 No 4.


Since August the Home Office’s Country of Origin Information Service has published new Country Reports on Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Kosovo, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey and Zimbabwe.


Policy and law


The Border, Immigration and Citizenship Bill has been brought forward. According to the UK Border Agency it will simplify and thereby replace all current immigration legislation. It will also “strengthen border controls, by bringing together customs and immigration powers, and to ensure that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay”.  


The Refugee Council has published a briefing on the Home Office’s management of ‘case resolution’ cases – the backlog of asylum claims previously known as legacy cases, which fall outside of those dealt with under the New Asylum Model and are now shared between the Case Resolution Directorate and Enforcement Teams.

An editorial in medical journal The Lancet has warned that children held in detention centres are not getting access to the healthcare they need. See also BBC News


The European Commission has proposed to amend within the next two years three of the legislative instruments of the Common European Asylum System: the Dublin Regulation, which determines the Member State responsible for an asylum application; the Directive on Reception Conditions for asylum-seekers; and the Eurodac Regulation, a database with the fingerprints of asylum seekers used to apply the Dublin Regulation. See also current ECRE newsletter for commentary and further background.




A Cameroonian woman has been awarded £38,000 damages for unlawful detention in Yarl’s Wood, on the basis the Home Office had mishandled her asylum claim after she informed them that she was a torture victim.


The Runnymede Trust has published Tell Me What I Need to Know – a guide for parents, especially from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), Refugee, Asylum-seeking and Traveller communities to enable them to support their children’s education better.


The Refuge and the Fortress is a new book by Jeremy Seabrook marking the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA)’s 75th anniversary. It charts British reactions to refugees from 1915 to the present, and highlights the work of refugee academics in the UK. See press review here


Asylum Update – December 3rd 2008



The Refugee Women’s Resource Project (RWRP) has published Relocation, Relocation: the impact of internal relocation on women asylum seekers by Claire Bennett.


The International Journal of Refugee Law Vol 20 No 4 features an article by Robert Thomas on Consistency in Asylum Adjudication: Country Guidance and the Asylum Process in the United Kingdom


New Human Rights Watch report: Stuck in a Revolving Door: Iraqis and Other Asylum Seekers and Migrants at the Greece/Turkey Entrance to the European Union


Ethnic Conflict and Minority Refugee Flight from Post-Soviet Ukraine, 1991-2001 by Jeffrey Burds in The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol 12, No 5.


 Policy and Law


The housing charity Shelter has published a new policy discussion paper – No Place Like Home? Addressing the issues of housing and migration which covers the needs of asylum seekers amongst other groups.


HM Chief Inspector of Prisons has published a Report on an unannounced full follow-up inspection of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre based on a visit made in May 2008. See also the official summary



A right to a voice: Survival English for Asylum Seekers – launch of the NIACE Campaign. Wednesday 10 December, London.


Imkaan provides support to BAMER (black, asian minority ethnic and refugee) women’s refuges across the UK.  They will hold their 10th anniversary AGM in London on Thursday 11th December – email to reserve a place. In September Imkaar produced the briefing paper A Matter of Life and Death: The loss of specialist services for BAMER women and children experiencing violence




The Children’s Legal Centre has updated its Guide to Higher Education Entitlements for Refugees and Asylum Seekers


New Londoners: Reflections on Home is a collection of photographs and writing by 15 young refugees supported in their work by leading London photographers.