Bishop of Gloucester asks Government what consultation takes place with religious communities to inform asylum decision making

On 9th April 2019 the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, received written answers to two questions about asylum decisions and consultation with religious communities:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester:

(i) (HL14943) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what processes they operate for monitoring and reviewing decisions on asylum claims.

(ii) (HL14942 ) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultation they have undertaken with religious communities to inform decision-making processes for asylum claims.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: Asylum decision-makers are expected to carefully consider protection needs following an interview by assessing all available evidence provided by the claimant in context of published country information, which covers issues relating to freedom of religion and belief. They receive extensive training on considering asylum claims, which covers religious claims, and must follow published Home Office policy guidance.

We work closely with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Asylum Advocacy Group (AAG) and have engaged a range of faith groups to help us improve our approach to religious based claims. We value their support in helping us to improve policy guidance and training for caseworkers in this important and complex area.

We have an internal audit process which assesses the quality of decisions, interviews and the application of Home Office policy. We have Senior Case Worker assessments as well as independent auditors from Central Operations who audit asylum cases and provide quarterly reports. The quality of asylum decisions is systematically assessed against a detailed audit framework drawn up in consultation with external partners, including the UNHCR, which includes checks on compliance with existing asylum polices, relevant case law and the appropriate country of origin information reports.