Thursday, June 09, 2016

British Parliamentary Group Releases Report On Asylum Claims By Migrants Claiming Religious Persecution

In Britain, the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief this week released a 35-page report titled Fleeing Persecution: Asylum Claims in the UK on Religious Freedom Grounds. Here is an  excerpt from the Executive Summary:
While the law is clear that religious persecution constitutes grounds for asylum, assessment of religion based asylum applications is complex and challenging due to the inherently internal and personal nature of religion and belief. This is compounded by the fact that persecution on the basis of religion or belief encompasses a wide range of human rights violations and relates to complex dynamics of communal identities, politics, conflicts and radical organisations....
... [T]here is a disparity between Home Office policy guidelines and what is actually happening in practice.... [W]hile it is clear that a lack of understanding of religion and belief is a primary cause of the disparity between good policy guidelines and practices of decision-makers within the UK asylum system, such ignorance might have been formalised through unpublished ‘crib sheets’ given to decision-makers.
Further evidence submitted by a number of stakeholders revealed that Christian and Christian convert asylum seekers are still being asked detailed factual “Bible trivia” questions which is too simplistic a way to judge if an individual is, for example, a genuine convert. Furthermore anecdotal evidence has shown that some people are learning as much as they can so they can be prepared for the Home Office interview.