Human Rights Law Centre

HRLC Forced Migration Unit releases expert report on the Streamlined Asylum Process

The Human Rights Law Centre’s Forced Migration Unit has published a new report examining the Streamlined Asylum Process, introduced by the Home Office in February 2023. Under this new process, refugee status can be granted on the basis of a questionnaire, without the need for an interview, for those who are from countries that have high acceptance rates.

Written by Dr Natalie Hodgson, head of the Forced Migration Unit, the report evaluates the first six months of the Streamlined Asylum Process, exploring its strengths and limitations.

This report finds that, in pursuit of its goal to reduce the asylum backlog, the Government has made decisions that appear to have prioritised quick decision-making over high-quality decision-making. However, in doing so, the Government has created a process that might be more efficient in the short term but risks being less efficient in the long term. Furthermore, by prioritising short-term quickness, the Government has created a process that undermines its stated goal of making ‘high-quality, accurate decisions’.

It is also important to consider the human cost of this policy, both for people seeking asylum and for the people and organisations working to support them. The report finds that the streamlined asylum process has caused significant anxiety and stress for people seeking asylum, overloaded an already struggling legal aid sector, and could potentially contribute to a longer-term erosion of the capacity of the legal aid sector by exacerbating the factors that cause practitioners to cease performing legal aid immigration work.

This report was written with the support of Melissa Jarvis, who provided research assistance on the project through the Human Rights Law Centre’s internship scheme.

The full report is available at this link.

Posted on Monday 30th October 2023

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