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New UK Prime Minister faces pressure to fix asylum system

New UK Prime Minister faces pressure to fix asylum system

New UK Prime Minister faces pressure to fix asylum system

New UK Prime Minister faces pressure to fix asylum system

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  • Refugees and human rights organizations have submitted a blueprint for asylum policy reform to UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer.
  • The letter, endorsed by 300 civil society organizations and 534 migrants, identifies the current policy as “fundamentally broken.”
  • The Home Office aims to restore order to the asylum system and ensure proper enforcement of rules.
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The Guardian reported that hundreds of refugees and human rights organizations wrote to Keir Starmer, the newly elected UK prime minister, presenting a comprehensive blueprint for asylum policy reform. The letter, endorsed by 300 civil society organizations and 534 people working with migrants, characterized the existing policy as “fundamentally broken.”

The document outlined nine key demands, which, if implemented by Labour, would signify a significant shift in one of the most contentious policy areas of the previous government. Among the key demands is the restoration of the right to seek asylum in the UK in line with international law, including the repeal of the Illegal Migration Act and the Nationality and Borders Act.

The letter also calls for the creation of safe routes for asylum seekers to reach the UK, including visa provisions, family reunification measures, and the rebuilding of refugee resettlement programs. Additionally, it advocates for housing asylum seekers within communities rather than in institutional accommodations such as barracks, barges, hotels, and hostels, which “cause unnecessary and lasting harm at significant taxpayer expense.”

The letter, as seen by The Guardian, states: “We are proud to welcome people seeking safety. For years, we have stepped in to support people who have been targeted and brutalized by hostile policies.

“We are now calling on your government to take a new approach: Protecting people seeking safety, rather than punishing them for political gain.”

“Successive pieces of unworkable, cruel legislation have effectively extinguished the right to seek asylum in the UK, creating an ever-growing ‘perma-backlog’ of tens of thousands of people. Some are being retraumatized in open prison camps on barracks or barges.

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“Others are left in overcrowded hostels with their mental health deteriorating whilst they are banned from finding employment. And Channel fatalities are at unthinkable levels, with a 450 percent increase in deaths at our border in the past 12 months.”

A Home Office spokesperson told The Guardian: “The government is determined to restore order to the asylum system so that it operates swiftly, firmly and fairly, and ensures that the rules are properly enforced.”

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