Asylum is about protection, not an arbitrary net migration target

Last updated August 27, 2015Press release

Today’s government quarterly migration statistics report that in the last quarter from April to June 2015 there were 6,203 applications for asylum in the UK. This is a small increase on the number of applications received during the previous quarter of 2015 (248).

The statistics also highlight that the government is no closer to its net migration target.

A large proportion of applications for asylum are from people fleeing conflict, violence and human rights abuses in Syria and Eritrea.

Asylum numbers in the UK remain low when compared to neighbouring countries. Germany, Sweden, France, Hungary and Italy all receive significantly more applications than the UK, with the UK receiving 25,000 asylum applications over the last 12 months while Germany is projecting 800,000 this year.

Given that last year saw the highest number of people on record displaced by war and persecution, it’s important to remember that relatively few people are making it to Britain in their search for safety.

In response, Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action said:

“Asylum applications to the UK remain fairly low by European standards. Germany expects to receive around 30 times more asylum applications this year than the UK received in the last 12 months. Our treatment of people seeking asylum is a litmus test of the compassion of our society.

“Our asylum system must be shaped by the needs of those seeking safety in this country from war and persecution, not an arbitrary net migration target. The UK can and should treat them as human beings not statistics.

“We must support everyone in our asylum system to receive a fair hearing, and enable those recognised as refugees to contribute to Britain.”

Asylum statistics released today also showed that just 216 Syrian refugees have arrived in the UK under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme since the scheme began.

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Asylum figures from Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, August 2015

There were 25,771 asylum applications (main applicants) in year ending June 2015, an increase of 10% compared with the previous 12 months (23,515).
The number of applications remains low relative to the peak number of applications in 2002 (84,132).
The largest number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Eritrea (3,568), followed by Pakistan (2,302) and Syria (2,204). A total of 11,600 people were granted asylum or an alternative form of protection.

Read more: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_414818.pdf