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“Women were too often refused asylum on grounds that were arbitrary, subjective, and demonstrated limited awareness of the UK’s legal obligations under the Refugee Convention … 50% of the refusals in our study were overturned when subjected to independent scrutiny in the immigration tribunal”
Asylum Aid’s groundbreaking research report Unsustainable: the quality of initial decision-making in women’s asylum claims was published in January 2011. At the launch event, hosted at Garden Court Chambers, we were joined by Jean Lambert MEP (right, with Asylum Aid Director Maurice Wren). A long-time campaigner for the rights of asylum seekers, Jean joined us in stressing the need for vast improvements in the way asylum decisions are reached for women who desperately need access to refugee protection.
Unsustainable has subsequently enjoyed coverage in the New Statesman, on Reuters, and in the Guardian. The pressing need for better decisions in women’s asylum claims was also recognised by the Deputy Prime Minister when he spoke in May 2011:
“And why do far more women have their case overturned at appeal? Is there an inherent unfairness built into the system? That is something we are looking at very carefully; and we’re ensuring the process is sensitive to the needs of women and girls”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP (speaking at the Refugee Council, 10th May 2011)
“… The research found that women were too often refused asylum on grounds that were arbitrary, subjective, and demonstrated limited awareness of the UK’s legal obligations under the Refugee Convention. Many of the UKBA’s decisions proved to be, in the words of an immigration judge examining one of the cases included in this research, ‘simply unsustainable’, and 50% were overturned when subjected to independent scrutiny in the immigration tribunal …”from the introduction
The Executive Summary