The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 17th April 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many individuals have been granted temporary protection since the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 came into force; and what proportion of such individuals were under the age of 18.
Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): The Home Office publishes data on asylum in the ‘Immigration System Statistics Quarterly Release’ on GOV.uk. Data on initial decisions on asylum applications, by age, can be found in table Asy_D02 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’ on GOV.uk. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks. The latest data relate to the year ending December 2022. Data for the year ending March 2023 will be published on 25 May 2023.
Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ on GOV.uk.
Between 28 June 2022 and 31 December 2022, 56 people received grants of temporary refugee permission, of which 5 people (9%) were under the age of 18.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government which safe countries individuals have been returned to when they have been removed due to an inadmissibility decision on their asylum application.
Lord Murray of Blidworth: We are clear that those who fear persecution should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and not put their lives at risk by making unnecessary and dangerous journeys to the UK. Controlled resettlement via safe and legal routes is the best way to protect such people and disrupt the organised crime groups that exploit migrants and refugees.
Inadmissibility is a longstanding process, intended to support the first safe country principle and is an established part of international asylum procedures. Those who choose to travel from a safe third country and then claim asylum in the UK may find their asylum claim treated as inadmissible to the asylum process. That means that the UK will not consider the substance of the person’s claim and will seek their return to a safe third country.
Since 1 January 2021 returns have been made to Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Information on the return of those who claims are deemed inadmissible is routinely published and can be found online at: How many people do we grant protection to? – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab).
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to assess the ability of Rwanda to accommodate asylum seekers under the age of 18; and whether a safeguarding review will be undertaken.
Lord Murray of Blidworth: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children will not be considered for relocation to Rwanda. We will thoroughly consider the circumstances of cases involving families with children according to our policy, statutory and international obligations. A full equality impact assessment has been published on gov.uk.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the publication by the US Department of State 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda which deemed conditions at detention centres in Rwanda as “harsh and life-threatening”, what steps they are taking to ensure that any migrant sent to Rwanda is (1) housed in adequate accommodation, and (2) has their human rights protected.
Lord Murray of Blidworth: Under the Migration and Economic Development Partnership (MEDP), relocated individuals will not be detained. They will be housed in appropriate accommodation and provided with support in accordance with the standards and assurances set out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Notes Verbale.
An independent Monitoring Committee will monitor the entire relocation process and compliance with assurances in the MoU, including the processing of asylum claims and provision of accommodation and support in Rwanda.
Our own comprehensive assessment as set out in the relevant country policy and information notes (CPINs) assesses that Rwanda is a safe and secure country. Our CPINs are kept under constant review and are published on the Gov.UK website.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda; and what assessment they have made of the impact of Rwanda’s backing of the M23 rebels on the UK’s agreements with Rwanda.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: The UK, alongside international partners, continues to raise the ongoing conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with the Government of Rwanda and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the highest levels. We condemn the continuing advance of M23, a UN-sanctioned armed group. On 13 March, the Foreign Secretary and the Rwandan Foreign Minister discussed the importance of meeting commitments made under the Nairobi and Luanda political processes. It is vital that all parties work together to secure real de-escalation on the ground and an enduring political solution.
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