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Mon 23 October 2017

International & EU conventions
UK Legislation
The Application Process
Misuse of the Asylum Process?
Detention, Dispersal and the moral voice
Asylum & Children
A timeline of refugee arrivals in the UK
Pull & Push Factors
Asylum & anti-Muslim rhetoric

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Alien - One owing allegiance, or belonging, to another country; a foreign-born resident of a country in which he does not possess the privileges of a citizen. Also called a noncitizen.

Asylum - the position of surrogate protection provided by a state other than that of which a person is a national, by reason of the authorities in that person's home state persecuting him/her or failing to protect him from persecution or because he has a well-founded fear of future persecution in his home country or country of last habitual residence and such persecution is based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

Asylum Seekers - The definition of asylum seeker may vary from country to country, depending on the laws of each country. However, in most countries, the terms asylum seeker/asylee and refugee differ only in the place where an individual asks for protection. On the one hand, an asylum seeker/asylee asks for protection after arriving to the host country, while a refugee asks for protection and is granted this protected status outside of the host country. In the UK asylum seekers are individuals who claim to be refugees who are waiting for a decision from the Home Office (HO) on their case.

Asylum Support Adjudicators (ASA) - Independent organisation which considers appeals from asylum seekers who have been refused support from the National Asylum Support Service.

Carriers Liability Act 1987 - An Act of Parliament that orders carriers to make payments to the Secretary of State for any passengers brought into the United Kingdom without the correct documentation.

Certification - A procedure introduced by the 1993 Act, it allowed the Secretary of State to remove the right to appeal to the Tribunal by certifying that a claim for asylum fell within one of the categories set out in the act. This principle has been maintained by Schedule IV, Paragraph 9 of the 1999 Act, and the certification procedure has been applied to other areas such as certification that a human rights claim has been made simply to delay removal, or certification that a third country EU member state has accepted responsibility for determining the asylum-seeker's claim.

Civil penalty - A provision under the Immigration and Asylum Act to place a penalty on those found responsible for transporting a clandestine entrant into the UK

Court of Appeal - If the Tribunal dismisses an appeal, the Court of Appeal is the next level of appeal for an asylum-seeker, although very few appeals reach this level.


Deportation order - An order authorising the removal of a foreign national from the United Kingdom and preventing them from coming back to the United Kingdom.

Determination - The decision of an Adjudicator or Tribunal on the outcome of an appeal.

Economic migrant - a person who voluntarily leaves her country in order to take up residence elsewhere and who is moved exclusively by economic considerations.

European Convention on Human Rights - Now incorporated into United Kingdom law by way of the Human Rights Act 1998, this international convention agreed by the Council of Europe protects individuals from the acts of public authorities which contravene the rights laid down in the articles of the Convention. These include the absolute right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment (article 3) and qualified rights such as the right to a family and private life (article 8).

Exceptional leave to remain (ELR) - This is a discretionary status granted by the Home Secretary. It can be granted for various reasons, but is most usually granted for compassionate or humanitarian reasons and is granted to someone who does not qualify as a refugee but has genuine humanitarian reasons for staying in the UK. About 11% of applicants were given ELR last year.


Human Rights Act 1998 - This act came into force on 2nd October 2000 and allows any person within the United Kingdom to argue that- a decision taken by a public body (such as a Secretary of State or immigration officer) breaches one or more of their rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. It is likely that most asylum-seekers claiming that they will be persecuted will also have a claim that removal from the United Kingdom will breach their rights under, for example, Article 3, by exposing them to inhuman treatment.

Illegal Immigrant - This generic term describes those who are in the UK without authority, for example in breach of a deportation order or by evading immigration control or by deceiving officials on arrival. The HO refuses to estimate the number of illegal immigrants on grounds that it is impossible to know how many are here. If they did they would take enforcement action against them.

Indefinite leave to remain/enter (ILR/ILE)- the status given to people recognised as refugees, allowing them to remain in the United Kingdom without limit of time.

Internally Displaced People (IDP) - Although the term IDP does not have a formal definition, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has suggested that it should denote "those persons who, as a result of persecution, armed conflict or violence, have been forced to abandon their homes and leave their usual place of residence, and who remain within the borders of their country.

Internal flight alternative (IFA) - also' described as "internal relocation" or the "internal protection principle", it is often raised as a reason not to recognise a person as a refugee when conditions in one part of a country are such that there is a serious possibility of persecution for a Convention reason if sent back there, but there are other parts of that country where the same concern would not arise.

Immigration Rules - Rules of practice published by the Home Office, on how immigration officials should implement the immigration and asylum laws. They are applied with the force of law.


Judicial review (JR) - A means of challenging in the High Court an administrative decision of a public authority which does not otherwise attract a right of appeal. For example, a decision of the Tribunal to refuse leave to appeal, a decision of the Adjudicator to uphold a certificate, a decision of the Secretary of State to refuse to grant exceptional leave to remain.

Legal Advice and Legal Adviser - "Legal adviser" denotes any person, be it a private lawyer or a representative of a refugee-protecting non-governmental organisation, who provides legal advice and information about the asylum procedures, the relevant laws, the asylum application and the rights and duties of the asylum applicant.

Legal Aid. Financial "legal aid" means the money allocated by the State in order to cover the costs of providing legal advice and legal representation to asylum applicants.

Legal Representation and Legal Representative - "Legal representation" refers to the specific legal adviser­client­relationship in which a person is authorised to speak on behalf of the asylum seeker and legally represent him/her in written statements and in person before administrative and judicial authorities. A "legal representative" is a person who is authorised to provide legal representation.


National asylum support service - Is responsible for the programme of dispersal and support for asylum seekers while their claims are decided. It makes asylum seekers a "no-choice" offer of accommodation and has sent asylum seekers to Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester.

Naturalisation - The act of making a person a citizen who was not born with that status. An application for citizenship is an application for Naturalization.

Non-refoulement - (i.e. "non-return") is a fundamental tenet of asylum law and an established principle of customary international law. Almost every major regional human rights and refugee convention explicitly or implicitly forbids the return of a person who has reason to fear for his/her life or liberty in his/her country of origin

Non-state agents of persecution - Where serious discriminatory or other offensive acts are committed by groups other than the authorities in that country, they can be considered as persecution if they are knowingly tolerated by the authorities, or if the authorities refuse, or prove unable, to offer effective protection. Such acts are said to be committed by "non-state agents of persecution."

One-stop - A term introduced by the 1999 Act to denote the fact that a person who applies to remain in the United Kingdom for one reason (for example as a refugee) is now required to give notice of all other reasons which might also be relevant to their wish to remain (for example compassionate reasons of health or family) at the earliest opportunity. If leave to remain is refused, an Adjudicator will then listen to arguments on aspects of all the reasons in a "one-stop" appeal.

Overstayer - Someone who remains in the UK beyond the permitted time. The HO recognises some may have overstayed without realising it; they will lose their right to appeal against removal from October.


People trafficking - People trafficking is recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving persons for the purpose of exploitation; by using or threatening force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, or abuse of power against them; or by giving or receiving payment or benefit to those who control them. (Article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, U.N. Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime)

Persecution - To pursue with malignancy or injurious action; esp. to oppress for holding a heretical opinion or belief as has been approved by the Court of Appeal. To qualify for refugee status, the persecution usually has to emanate from the state authorities (but see also non-state agents).

Refoulement - Article 33 of the 1951 Convention provides that "No Contracting State shall expel or return ("refouler") a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion." The principle is more usually expressed as "non-refoulement' which expresses the principle that refugees cannot forcibly be returned to their country of origin, and therefore asylum-seekers (who may be refugees but are not yet recognised to be such) may not be returned until their claim has been finally considered.

Refugee - The term refugee shall apply to any person who, owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. Some 37% of applicants were recognised as full refugees in 1999.

Refugee "sur place" - A person who was not a refugee when he left his country, but who becomes a refugee at a later date, is called a refugee "sur place". A person becomes a refugee "sur place" due to circumstances arising in his country of origin during his absence.

Returnee - Returnees are refugees, asylum seekers/asylee, and IDPs who are able to return to their places of residence. Compared to the total number of refugees, asylum seekers/recipients and IDPs, only a small percentage is ever able to return to their homes, and if they do so, it happens several years after their departure


Safe third country rule - This applies where asylum seekers have passed through another country deemed to be safe en route. As a result about 10% of asylum seekers find their claims rejected without any consideration of their individual case.

Settlement - Permission to stay in the United Kingdom permanently (another term for 'indefinite leave to remain')

Statement of Evidence Form (SEF) - A 19-page self-completion questionnaire given to asylum applicants, which asks for details of the reasons for seeking asylum in the UK and forms the basis of that persons application.

Temporary admission (TA) - Permission granted by a Chief Immigration Officer for an asylum seeker to stay without being detained in the UK while her asylum application is being considered.

Temporary release (TR) - Temporary admission granted by a Chief Immigration Officer to asylum seekers who have been detained on arrival or after making the claim.

Third country - A country whose authorities agree to allow an asylum seeker to go there from the United Kingdom and to determine the asylum seeker's claim for asylum. A third country is not the United Kingdom and is not the asylum seeker's own country.

Travel document - A document used to travel and gain entry to other countries.

Tribunal - A panel of three (sometimes two) normally consisting of a legal chairperson and two wing members, who hear appeals from the determination of an Adjudicator.


UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established in 1951. "UNHCR's primary purpose is to protect the safety and welfare of people who have been uprooted or threatened by persecution, armed conflict and human rights violations. In its efforts to fulfil that objective, the organization seeks lasting solutions to the plight of refugees and other displaced people, primarily by means of voluntary repatriation and reintegration, and strives to mitigate the problems confronting those countries and communities affected by forced population displacements." (From UNHCR Refworld database).

UNHCR handbook - "Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status." Published by the UNHCR, it provides a practical guide to the determination of refugee status. Although not binding on decision makers, it is of strong persuasive value in determining whether a person is a refugee.

Visa national - A person who needs to apply for a visa before entering the United Kingdom.

Withholding of Removal - Withholding of Removal is relief to prevent removal to a country where the alien has a clear probability to suffer persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Withholding of Removal is only for those who are placed in removal proceedings.

Work permit - A document issued by Work Permits (UK) that allows a person to work in the United Kingdom for a particular employer.

Work Permits (UK) - The Home Office department that is responsible for issuing work permits. Was formerly part of the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and was known as the Overseas Labour Service (OLS).


Anti-Muslim rhetoric



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