Ministers under pressure to tighten rules on staff handling asylum seekers’ claims


Soft rules face backlash

Ministers are facing mounting pressure to overturn Home Office guidelines that instruct staff to refrain from being skeptical about asylum seekers' claims. Critics argue that these rules provide too much leniency to applicants.

Concerns over video call interviews

There is also apprehension surrounding the use of video call interviews instead of in-person interrogations conducted by assessors. Critics argue that this method may not be as thorough and effective in evaluating the credibility of the claims.

Additional case workers hired

In an effort to clear the backlog of 170,000 claims, the government has hired an additional 700 case workers, bringing the total number to 2,500. The aim is to expedite the processing of these claims.

Guidance raising eyebrows

Guidance given to asylum case workers includes instructions to use non-threatening body language and not to press claimants for answers they find "upsetting." Additionally, claimants are not required to provide proof of their sexual orientation if they claim persecution based on being bisexual, gay, or lesbian. Critics argue that these guidelines are indicative of a broken system.

Response from government

The Home Office has defended its processes, stating that they ensure proper consideration of asylum claims. However, the mounting criticism suggests that many believe the system is in need of significant reform.

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