Select Committee on Home Affairs Second Report


The asylum support system

163. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) was set up in April 2000, under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, to provide welfare support to asylum seekers who would otherwise be left destitute (that is, without adequate accommodation or the means to meet their essential living needs). Previously, many asylum seekers had been supported, in an ad hoc and unco-ordinated way, by local authorities. The new NASS arrangements were based on enforced dispersal to the regions, to relieve pressure on local authorities in London and Kent; and on the provision of most subsistence support in the form of vouchers exchangeable for goods, rather than cash.

164. The voucher scheme was greeted with much hostility, on the grounds that it stigmatised the users, required them to travel to designated shops, and made shopkeepers' work more difficult. The fact that no cash change could be tendered for an unused portion of a voucher was also resented.

165. The implementation of the dispersal policy was also criticised. For instance, a joint report by the British Medical Association and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture claimed that the policy was putting the health of asylum seekers at serious risk by making it more difficult for them to access healthcare services.[179] A report by the Audit Commission criticised local authorities for being under-prepared to deal with dispersed asylum seekers. It found that inadequate accommodation had hampered the dispersal policy, and that "in some areas, community tensions have been raised". However, it also concluded that dispersal, properly implemented, offered an opportunity "to develop a more coherent response to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees". [180]

166. In August 2001 the Home Secretary commissioned reviews of the voucher and dispersals policies.[181] The ensuing report found there had been "administrative and operational problems resulting in a poor service by NASS to asylum seekers".[182] In October 2001 the Home Secretary concluded that "the system is too slow, vulnerable to fraud, and felt to be unfair by asylum seekers and local communities".[183] In consequence the voucher system would be phased out. He acknowledged that the dispersals policy had led to "social tensions in neighbourhoods across the country and considerable pressures on local education, social and GP services", but defended the principle of dispersal away from London and the South-East, and pledged improved liaison with local authorities. In addition a new network of induction and accommodation centres would be set up. Initially the accommodation centres would provide 3,000 places for first-time asylum seekers, offering full board, education and health facilities.[184] In April 2002 the voucher-only system was replaced by a system of vouchers exchangeable for cash.

167. The revised arrangements now in force operate as follows. The level of cash support for asylum seekers is set at 70% of Income Support for adults and 100% of the personal allowance for children under 18.[185] The Home Office argue that because the full NASS support package also includes furnished accommodation, with the cost of rent, utilities and council tax paid by NASS, the net value of the package is broadly equivalent to that of Income Support. No assistance with accommodation costs is given to those asylum seekers on 'subsistence-only support', because they are assumed to be living rent-free with family or friends.

168. Asylum seekers who request that accommodation be provided may be subject to dispersal. Those who request subsistence-only support may live where they choose. NASS contracts with the public and private sector to provide accommodation in dispersal areas for destitute asylum seekers. At the end of September 2003 there were 51,810 asylum seekers, including dependants, supported in NASS accommodation across the UK. At the same date a further 33,895 were in receipt of subsistence-only support. The regions with the highest populations of asylum seekers in NASS accommodation were Yorkshire and the Humber (19% of the total), West Midlands (18%), the North West (18%), Scotland (11%) and the North East (10%). However, nearly three-quarters of all asylum seekers in receipt of subsistence-only support (24,830 individuals) were located in London.[186]

169. The Home Office is still engaged in consultation on the sites for the new accommodation centres. The criteria for selection of a site include the capacity to cater for several hundred residents plus facilities either as new-build or conversion and a reasonable geographical spread beyond the south east of England.[187] The intention is to disperse asylum seekers in 'clusters' based on language groups.[188] Accommodation centres will not be secure facilities but applicants will be required to stay in the centre as a condition of NASS support. The intention is that the centres will provide 'one-stop shop' services: education, health, interpretation and self-catering facilities, legal advice, purposeful activity and voluntary work.[189]

170. A key factor in siting the centres is the need to judge carefully "the number of asylum seekers that each cluster or region can successfully accommodate both from the integration angle and without causing/increasing racial tension in an area".[190] Mr Peter Gilroy, Strategic Director of Social Services at Kent County Council, told us of the potential pitfalls:

    "to take people from Kent in large numbers … and parachute them into local authorities around the country, has created some quite serious problems. First of all, it adds to the sense of perception to the public that they are being flooded with people. In truth, there are significant numbers, but if you concentrate people in certain locations then the public perception very quickly is affected by that."[191]

171. The operational performance of NASS has been the subject of much criticism. The Immigration Advisory Service told us that:

    "NASS and the dispersal policy it was supposed to administer were a disaster. The policy of dispersal was virtually unplanned, no preparations for services to dispersed asylum seekers were made, … implementation was a shambles and the dispersal policy led to a number of racist attacks, some of which were fatal."[192]

172. The IAS and other witnesses accept that improvements have been made since the early days of NASS. However, NASS is still criticised for allegedly providing unacceptable standards of service delivery, being over-centralised, and difficult to contact.

173. Citizens Advice, the national co-ordinating body for Citizens Advice Bureaux, argued that NASS is "effectively displacing its costs to other agencies … with very limited human and financial resources", and that bureaux "continue to report endemic delay, inefficiency, and administrative error". They also criticised a lack of empathy with asylum seekers and "a mindset … of all asylum seekers being 'on the make'". [193] Mr Peter Gilroy of Kent County Council said that "just simply …they do not have the trained personnel".[194]

174. Many other witnesses made similar criticisms. Asylum Aid stated that NASS "continues to be woefully inaccessible and prone to error", and that it fails the most vulnerable.[195] Asylum Welcome, a small charity which deals with asylum seekers in Oxfordshire, alleged that:

  • Initial applications to NASS for support take a long time to process
  • There is poor quality and lack of emergency accommodation
  • Vouchers fail to arrive
  • NASS loses documents
  • NASS fails to record information changes
  • NASS is extremely difficult to contact by phone,

and that these administrative and procedural problems result in "an unacceptable level of human hardship and misery".[196] The poor telephone service offered by NASS has clearly been a particular problem.

175. Lack of local knowledge on the part of NASS has also been much criticised. Ms Harriet Sergeant told us:

    "I went to the refugee centre in Newcastle. They spent most of their time complaining to me about NASS. They said that one of the major problems … was that NASS's centre of operations was so far from the NASS headquarters in Croydon. They said that NASS had not noticed that a river runs between North and South Shields and that they were expecting asylum seekers to have to take a ferry and a bus in order to collect their money when there is actually a perfectly good post office at the end of the road, but they simply did not know the geography."[197]

176. In March 2003 the Government announced there would be an independent review of "the organisation, management and staffing and expertise within NASS".[198] This followed controversy over NASS's decision to use the Coniston hotel in Sittingbourne, Kent, as an asylum induction centre without first consulting local residents.

177. The Government published a summary of the review's findings in July 2003. The full text of the review was not published on the grounds that it contained confidential advice to Ministers. When we queried this with the Minister of State, she told us that she had commissioned the report as "personal advice to me" and felt it would be inappropriate to publish it.[199] However, from the short Home Office summary which has been published, it is clear that although the review noted "signs of improvement", its overall tone was heavily critical. NASS "had failed to establish a clear strategy", had not properly integrated with other parts of the asylum process, had had "unrealistic expectations surrounding issues such as social integration", had not dealt effectively with partners such as local authorities or the voluntary sector, had not exploited IT effectively, and needed to improve its basic customer service. The review pointed to the need for many more aspects of NASS's business to be dealt with at local level.[200]

178. The Government is committed to the 'regionalisation' of NASS. In June 2003 it announced that NASS would be opening 12 new regional offices, to be occupied by 400 of its 1,000 staff.[201] The Director-General of IND, Mr Bill Jeffrey, told us in October 2003 that he chaired a steering group charged with implementing the review's recommendations:

    "What we have been looking at is the governance structure for NASS: integrating it more into IND as a whole; improving staffing, because I think one of the significant reasons for the weaknesses in NASS performance in the past has not been a lack of effort by its senior management but shortcomings and weaknesses in the number and quality of staff at different levels; and looking at the initiatives to bring in external stakeholders to improve the quality of the relationship between the local government and the voluntary sector, and to drive through the introduction of the regional offices which the Minister referred to. It is a very big programme. Speaking as the Director General of IND as a whole, improving NASS performance is something that I think is one of our highest priorities."[202]

179. We believe that Mr Jeffrey is right to regard an improvement in the performance of NASS as a very high priority. We are disappointed that the Government has not published the full text of the independent review of NASS. Nonetheless, the summary which has been published makes clear that many of its findings are highly critical. This reinforces the great weight of evidence we have received from our witnesses, to the effect that NASS is under-resourced, has too few trained staff, and insufficient local knowledge. Members of Parliament in their constituency work know at first hand the innumberable difficulties that dealing with NASS entail.

180. We support the policy of 'regionalising' NASS. Building bridges with local communities, to reduce hostility to asylum seekers and enhance social cohesion, is an essential part of the way forward. This should involve better mechanisms for joint working with local, health and education authorities. Recruitment and retention of sufficient trained personnel is equally important, as is the investment of resources to enable an efficient telephone answering service.

181. We recognise that the Government is in the early stages of implementing the recommendations of the independent review. In order that we can subject to proper scrutiny the Government's progress in tackling the problems of NASS, we recommend (a) that the full text, including recommendations, of the independent review should be published; and (b) that the Director-General of IND should submit to us by the end of 2004 a progress report on the work of his steering group on NASS reform, with a view to our taking further oral evidence on this subject from him in early 2005.

Right to work

182. Until recently, asylum seekers could be granted, on application, the right to work in the UK if their claim had not been decided within six months of it being made. Exercise of this right reduced the burden on the benefit system, but arguably also constituted a 'pull' factor for those seeking to move to the UK primarily from economic motives. Accordingly, in July 2002 the right was withdrawn.

183. The Refugee Council expressed disappointment "that the Government has removed the right to work after six months thus condemning people to quite unnecessary dependency during the period of their claim". They alleged that this had had the unintended side-effect of depriving people from access to English for Speakers of Other Languages, orientation and prevocational training programmes funded by the European Social Fund to which the right to work acts as a passport. They pointed out that under devolved arrangements in Scotland there is no such prohibition on asylum seekers taking part in European Social Fund programmes.[203]

184. The Home Office maintain that as a high proportion of applications now receive initial decisions within six months (87% in the third quarter of 2003),[204] the number of those eligible to benefit from the former right to work is now comparatively small. The Minister of State commented that "improved timeliness of initial decisions by the Immigration Nationality Directorate had made the concession largely irrelevant in practice".[205] She pointed out that asylum seekers who had been given permission to work as part of the concession would retain that right until they receive a final determination of their asylum application; and that the Home Office had "maintained a discretion to grant permission to work in exceptional cases".[206]

185. The Minister of State subsequently told us that in response to representations from the Refugee Council, the Home Office had agreed that "access to certain pre-vocational programmes available under the terms of the [European Social] Fund, including some English Language programmes, should not be ruled out for asylum seekers."[207]

186. The danger that restoration of the concession to work after six months may act as a 'pull' factor is a real one. We recommend that the ban on working should remain in place while the applications process is being streamlined, to avoid re-creating a work incentive; but that the Government should make a commitment to eventually restoring the concession. In the long run, the inability to work is not advantageous to asylum seekers themselves (who may sometimes be, for example, engineers or doctors whose skills are in demand) or to wider society.

Section 55 of the 2002 Act

187. One aspect of the asylum support system has caused particular controversy. Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 prevents the provision of support to asylum seekers unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that their asylum claim was made as soon as reasonably practicable after arrival in the UK. This section came into force in January 2003. Exceptions include families with children and those who can show that they would suffer treatment contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

188. Of the 4,260 cases referred to NASS for a Section 55 decision in the third quarter of 2003, 2,810 cases were notified that they were not eligible for NASS support because they had not applied for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable. This was an increase of nearly a thousand on the comparable figure for the second quarter (1,830 out of 3,110). In the third quarter, 795 cases were exempted from consideration under Section 55 on the ground of being a family application, and 210 cases were exempted to avoid a breach of the European Convention (comparable figures for the second quarter were 540 and 475 respectively). [208]

189. The operation of Section 55 has been subject to review by the courts. Six test cases were taken to the High Court and on 19 February 2003 Mr Justice Collins found that aspects of the decision-making process under the section were flawed and in breach of the European Convention. The Government appealed, and the Court of Appeal gave judgement on 18 March. The appeal was dismissed in relation to the specific cases, and the Court found against the Government on the issue of procedural fairness. However, it found in favour of the Government on several issues of principle, reaffirming that:

  • the burden of showing that a claim was made as soon as reasonably practicable is on the asylum seeker
  • State support does not have to be given automatically to all destitute asylum seekers who have failed to make their asylum claims when required to do so
  • Section 55 is not incompatible with the European Convention.

The Government accepted the Court of Appeal's judgements, and changed decision-making procedures under Section 55 to comply with the Court's rulings.[209]

190. A further case came before the courts more recently. In July 2003 three asylum seekers sought judicial review of the Home Office's refusal of support under Section 55. Mr Justice Maurice Kay ruled against the Secretary of State on the grounds that the refusal was a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention, which states that "no one shall be subjected … to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". The Home Secretary appealed in the case of one of the asylum seekers, and his appeal was upheld, Mr Justice Kay arguing that the asylum-seeker's level of destitution had not been sufficiently severe to render Article 3 applicable. The judge stated that it was impossible to find that the asylum-seeker's condition at the relevant date "had reached or was verging on the inhuman or the degrading. He had shelter, sanitary facilities and some money for food. He was not entirely well physically, but not so unwell as to need immediate treatment." The Minister of State commented on the judgement that it "helps clarify where, in deciding Article 3 considerations, the threshold lies … [it] reinforces the message that those who do not claim asylum as soon as possible cannot expect to be supported merely because they assert they have no means of supporting themselves."[210]

191. Many of our witnesses criticised Section 55 on ethical grounds. Shelter was "extremely concerned that Section 55 will continue to result in some very vulnerable people being left destitute and, in some cases, having to sleep on the street".[211] A group of organisations concerned with the welfare of asylum seekers issued a joint statement urging that:

    "In a civilised society, it is simply unacceptable that any group of human beings should be prohibited from working and denied access to any state support by force of law. The United Kingdom is one of the richest countries in the world. We do not force convicted criminals into destitution and starvation. There is no excuse for employing such a tactic against people whose asylum claims have yet to be decided."[212]

192. It was also argued that Section 55 would undermine other government policies on asylum. Ms Margaret Lally, Acting Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, claimed that by driving asylum seekers underground, Section 55 would make it more difficult to track them : "the way you know where people are is by having them in the benefit system, they have to turn up to collect their benefit".[213] Mr Keith Best of the Immigration Advisory Service said that Section 55—

    "drives a coach and horses through the whole policy of dispersal. If you are denying people support and accommodation because they have not claimed asylum immediately you cannot disperse then because you are not providing them with accommodation. What are these people going to do? They are going to hang round London and the South East."[214]

193. There have been press reports of hardship caused by the operation of Section 55. According to a recent article in The Guardian, "huddles of asylum seekers have begun visibly sleeping rough in central and south London, and in gardens and car parks in Croydon", as a result of denial of support under Section 55. [215] The article also claimed that "one young Ugandan rape victim recently made her home in a phone box in Liverpool's Lime Street station". Mr Justice Kay was quoted in the press on 16 October 2003 as saying that

    "in a typical case … the claimant was supported for a short period, pending the determination of his application for support. But then the application was refused and support was withdrawn. Within a short time he is sleeping rough with no money except for the proceeds of begging and in many cases there are health complications."[216]

194. Another senior judge, Sir Stephen Sedley, in a lecture given on 3 November 2003, said that a consequence of Section 55 had been:

    "a major flow into the courts of asylum seekers denied benefit or housing under the new system and now without food or shelter and frequently ill. … To rescue them, judges of the administrative court have made over 800 emergency orders for interim payment of benefit. Every week about 60 more such orders are having to be made. It is thanks to the safety net of the Human Rights Act … and perhaps also to the judiciary's unwillingness to pass by on the other side, that these people are not starving in the streets."[217]

195. When we questioned Home Office witnesses about the effects of Section 55, the Director-General of IND said that "it would not be fair to say that the consequence [of Section 55] is widespread destitution". The Minister of State commented that:

    "I think well over 60 per cent of claims are not at port, they are in­country, and it is certainly the view from many of our caseworkers and people making the decisions, on the basis of their interviews, that many people claiming asylum have been in­country for some time and are therefore supporting themselves or being supported, and we believe that it is right to expect people, if they are fleeing persecution, to want to claim asylum at the earliest opportunity and that largely will be the port. … So whilst I accept that this is a tough measure I do not accept that its intention is to make people destitute, … but it is about changing behaviour."[218]

196. The implementation of Section 55 raises difficult issues. On the one hand, we agree with the Government that it is reasonable to expect genuine refugees to claim asylum at an early stage during their stay in this country. There is no doubt that many 'in-country' applicants in the past have abused the system: for instance, only claiming asylum when they have been detected as illegally working. On the other hand, we are disturbed by the claims by some of our witnesses, and in the press, that asylum seekers from whom benefit has been withdrawn under Section 55 are suffering real distress, and that in some cases the powers under the section are being invoked against people whose asylum claim has been made relatively soon after their arrival in the UK. We are also worried that, for the reasons set out in evidence to us, the operation of Section 55 may be having a counter-productive effect on other government asylum policies such as those on dispersal and on tracking of asylum seekers.

197. Section 55 provides for the withholding of support from those who fail to claim asylum "as soon as reasonably practicable" after their arrival in the UK. We queried with our witnesses how those words are being interpreted by NASS decision-makers, and in particular whether people who claimed asylum after only one or two days in the country were being deprived of support. The Minister of State told us that:

    "If somebody applies a day or two after and can give the caseworker information that supports a credible reason as to why that happened, preferably but not necessarily with some verifiable information as to how and when they came into the country to confirm the day or zone, then they will be given support and that is within the guidance to the caseworkers, but if people cannot give that credible story, and the caseworkers believe on the basis of the screening that their story is not credible, not true, and they probably are someone who has been here longer than that, then they will be denied support."[219]

198. On 17 December 2003 the Home Secretary announced a change in the guidelines governing the implementation of Section 55. This would be to allow claimants a period of 72 hours rather than, as at present, 24 hours from their arrival in the UK within which they will, as a general rule, be expected to claim asylum. He said that this "will allow us to be more flexible in assessing whether people have been in the country for any length of time".[220]

199. We welcome the Home Secretary's announcement that 72 hours rather than 24 hours will henceforward be regarded as the period within which new arrivals in the UK will normally be expected to claim asylum. This will certainly help to make the operation of Section 55 more humane. Nonetheless, we remain concerned that cases of unduly harsh treatment will continue to occur, and will continue to lead to challenges in the courts. We recommend that the Government should commission an independent review of the working of Section 55, so that any decision on whether to keep or repeal the provision can be based on more than merely anecdotal evidence. This review should also consider the position of failed asylum seekers who cannot be returned to their countries (see paragraphs 202-08 below).

200. Ms Margaret Lally, Acting Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, told us that:

    "There have been particular problems with people coming through the airports, if you come through Heathrow or Gatwick and you want to claim asylum the notices are difficult to see … Once you get through the barrier you cannot go back and claim. You are then told you are in-country and you have to get yourself to Croydon the next day. You are then told when you get to Croydon you did not apply immediately so you are not entitled to benefit."[221]

201. Greater efforts should be made to draw to the attention of potential asylum seekers, on or before their arrival at ports, the provisions of Section 55 and the consequent need for them to make any asylum claim without delay. This should be done through posters prominently displayed.

The welfare of non-returnable asylum seekers

202. Special problems are raised by the case of failed asylum seekers who for the foreseeable future cannot be returned to their country owing to the human rights situation there. At present there are, considerable numbers of Somalis in this position. Iraqi Kurds and Zimbabwean nationals are other groups which have recently been in a similar plight.

203. Under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, accommodation and food can be made available to some failed asylum seekers who, through no fault of their own, are unable to leave the UK. This is sometimes called 'hard cases support'. No cash is provided. The Minister of State told us that the discretion to offer accommodation under Section 4 is exercised in cases where there is "a practical obstacle" to removal, such as where there is no safe route of return available, or if failed asylum seekers are awaiting passports, or temporarily cannot travel owing to illness. At March 2003 there were 100 people receiving support under Section 4. The Minister told us there was a difficulty in that accommodation under Section 4 was not always available in the city where people qualifying for such support were living, and they would often refuse to be relocated.[222]

204. During our inquiry into asylum removals, the Refugee Council told us that—

    "There are growing numbers of people not being removed, for a variety of reasons, but who are being thrust into absolute destitution. There is in existence a 'hard cases' fund but the criteria for this are very narrow, access has proved problematic and the support provided is even more restricted than normal NASS support and with no cash. In many instances people are being placed in this position even though they cannot currently be removed."[223]

205. In our report on asylum removals we recommended that:

  • Where the removal of a failed asylum seeker is delayed through no fault of his own, it is morally unacceptable for him to be rendered destitute. We recommend that during any such delay the individuals concerned should be provided either with adequate support (including sufficient cash to allow for reasonable minimum living expenses) or a temporary status which will allow them to work to support themselves.
  • It is absurd to refuse leave to remain to people who, for whatever reason, cannot be removed. We recommend that such people be granted a temporary status which will allow them to support themselves.[224]

206. In its reply, the Government drew attention to the support available under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, but argued that it would wrong to grant temporary status or the right to work to failed asylum seekers "as this would put them in a more favourable position than those awaiting asylum decisions who cannot work".[225]

207. We note the Government's response but do not consider that this is adequate to tackle the problem. We think it likely that significant numbers of failed asylum seekers who are unable to return to their countries are not receiving Section 4 support. That support itself is much more limited than normal NASS support. We suspect that the consequence is that a major burden is being placed on charities and voluntary organisations. We recommend that the review into the operation of Section 55 which we have called for in paragraph 199 above should also investigate the position of welfare support for failed asylum seekers who are unable to return home or be removed. The review should address in particular the numbers involved, the adequacy of existing support, the extent to which the voluntary section is involved in providing support, and the feasibility and desirability of providing such people with either full NASS support or the right to work.

208. Since April 2003 the category of "exceptional leave to remain" in the UK has been replaced by the categories of "humanitarian protection" and "discretionary leave".[226] We note that the Home Office is granting such leave much more sparingly than it did the previous form of leave which arguably was more open to abuse. We recommend that the Government should make appropriate use of the power to grant a strictly temporary right to remain in the UK to those who are genuinely unable, at least for the time being, to return to their countries.

179   Joint report, Asylum Seekers and Health (October 2001) Back

180   Audit Commission, Another Country: implementing dispersal under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Back

181   Home Office, Report of the operational reviews of the voucher and dispersal schemes of the National Asylum Support Service (October 2001) Back

182   Ibid., para 1.3.2 Back

183   HC Deb, 29 October 2001, col 627 Back

184   Ibid., cols 627-28 Back

185   Ev 169 Back

186   Asylum Statistics: 3rd Quarter 2003, p 7 Back

187   HC Deb, 7 February 2002, col 1128W Back

188   HC Deb, 8 April 2003, cols 202-03W Back

189   Home Office press notice 037/2003, Next steps in asylum seeker accommodation centre trial, dated 11 February 2003 Back

190   HC Deb, 8 April 2003, col 203W Back

191   Q 149 Back

192   Ev 197 Back

193   Ev 158-61 Back

194   Q 248 Back

195   Ev 154 Back

196   Ev 156-57 Back

197   Q 256 Back

198   HC Deb, 7 March 2003, col 90WS Back

199   Q 802 Back

200   HC Deb, 15 July 2003, cols 30-31WS Back

201   Home Office press notice 184/2003, dated 26.06.03 Back

202   Q 804 Back

203   Ev 239-40 (paras 3.2-3) Back

204   Asylum Statistics: 3rd Quarter 2003, p 3 Back

205   HC Deb, 31 October 2002, col 942W Back

206   HC Deb, 17 November 2003, col 673W Back

207   Ev 260 Back

208   Asylum Statistics: 3rd Quarter 2003, p 11; Asylum Statistics: 2nd Quarter 2003, p 11 Back

209   HC Deb,20 March 2003, cols 53-54WS Back

210   R ('T') - v - The Secretary of State for the Home Department, on appeal from Maurice Kay J, before Lord Justice Kennedy, Lord Justice Peter Gibson and Lord Justice Sedley, 23 September 2003 Back

211   Ev 251 (para 3.1.4) Back

212   Joint statement by the Refugee Council, Oxfam, Shelter, Liberty, Crisis, JCWI, Refugee Action, Refugee Legal Centre, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and Migrant Helpline, issued 24 November 2003 Back

213   Q 504; see also Ev 240 (para 3.4) Back

214   Q 504 Back

215   Angelique Chrisafis, 'Destitute: asylum seekers pushed on to the street by an official letter', The Guardian, 18 August 2003 Back

216   The Guardian, 16 October 2003 Back

217   Lecture delivered to the Legal Action Group, quoted in The Guardian, 4 November 2003 Back

218   In March 2003, as part of our inquiry into asylum removals: HC (2002-03) 654-II, Qq 622, 621. Back

219   HC (2002-03) 654-II, Q 622 Back

220   HC Deb, 17 December 2003, col 1594 Back

221   Q 504 Back

222   HC (2002-03) 654-II, Ev 89, and Q 643 Back

223   HC (2002-03) 654-II, Ev 166 Back

224   HC (2002-03) 654-I, paras 55, 63 Back

225   HC (2002-03) 1006, p 5 Back

226   See para 9 above. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2004
Prepared 26 January 2004