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Vicky Foxcroft MP

Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford

Torture and Asylum

Many constituents have written to me about the inhumane handling of asylum claims involving allegations of torture.

I see the Home Office’s poor treatment of people daily. The Government is leaving people in limbo awaiting decisions and in too many cases making the wrong decisions. This leaves people unable to properly integrate into society as they should be allowed.

The Government’s treatment of people claiming asylum and of refugees is not that of a civilised country. I recently raised this in Parliament, asking what steps the Secretary of State for International Development are taking to protect women refugees against exploitation and sexual violence. Not enough is being done to protect these vulnerable people whilst they are seeking help.

In the Freedom from Torture's report, in over three quarters of asylum cases the organisation looked at had a refusal by the Home Office overturned by a judge upon appeal. This is clearly a sign of serious problems within the Home Office and the handling of these sensitive cases.

The Government said earlier this year that it would review the cases that are referred to in the Freedom from Torture's report. Changes must be made, and I hope to push for this when Parliament returns from summer recess.

I know that Freedom from Torture is calling on the Home Affairs Committee to undertake an inquiry into the handling of medical evidence in asylum claims. Committees determine their own lines of inquiry and I am sure that Freedom from Torture's representations will be carefully considered.

The UK must continue to set a standard on an international level with our treatment of people fleeing violence and persecution. In the pursuit of stopping torture from happening, it is therefore crucial that the UK sets an example as a country that respects and upholds its human rights commitments.


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