There’s a parliamentary inquiry by the Women and Equalities Committee, concerning ‘Equality and the UK asylum process’ – more info below. Closing date for evidence is 8 November, in case your organisation would like to submit. Please do share this with your networks.
The Women and Equalities Committee is examining the fairness of the UK asylum process, looking at the experiences of people seeking asylum who have a range of protected characteristics (as defined in the UK’s Equality Act).
The Committee is seeking evidence about the nature and extent of asylum claims from people with diverse characteristics, for example age, race, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment, and different groups’ experiences of the asylum process in the UK. It will assess how far the Government is able to address discrimination or specific dangers for those with protected characteristics within the existing system. The inquiry will also consider any early evidence about people’s experiences of the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme.
Questions are as follows:
Asylum and protected characteristics
- What is the nature and extent of UK asylum claims based on discrimination or persecution relating to the protected characteristics?
- Are those with certain protected characteristics more or less likely to be granted asylum in the UK?
- What is the nature and extent of the dangers for those with protected characteristics who are seeking asylum in the UK?
The asylum process for individuals with protected characteristics
- Is the UK asylum process safe and fair for those with protected characteristics?
- Are individuals with certain protected characteristics more at risk of harm or unfair treatment when going through the UK asylum process?
- Are particular protected characteristics given priority in the asylum process?
- What challenges do those with protected characteristics face on the basis of those characteristics if they are granted asylum in the UK?
- What specific issues do those with certain protected characteristics face?
- Do current domestic and international laws and conventions governing the UK’s asylum process provide effective protection against discrimination for those with protected characteristics?
- How is the Government addressing any discrimination or specific dangers for those with protected characteristics in the asylum process, and what more could be done?
- How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected those with protected characteristics who are seeking asylum?
Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme
The Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme is a route which is separate, and in addition, to other processes and schemes.
- In what ways does the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme differ from other routes to claiming asylum?
- Are people resettled through the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme more likely to be facing persecution based on certain protected characteristics?
- What measures are needed to support people with certain protected characteristics arriving via the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme route?
This inquiry will not directly feed into the Nationality and Borders bill, however this does not preclude the Committee from considering evidence that addresses proposals in the bill.