17 September 2012
In a statement to the Human Rights Council on the occasion of the adoption of the UPR Report for the United Kingdom, Edmund Rice International again raised the plight of asylum seekers whose claims are rejected.
The statement acknowledged that so called Section 4 support, is in principle available to failed asylum seekers unable to return to their country of origin, but in practice the great majority are unable to meet the criteria to qualify for the benefit and do not have the means to resubmit their case. The result is that they remain in the UK in a state of homeless and penniless ‘limbo’. If charitable sources do not provide resources, survival choices appear to reduce to begging, stealing, or illegal work.
The statement, drafted in co-operation with the coalition of faith-based and community groups who drafted the original submission, urged the United Kingdom to implement the recommendations made in the UPR in relation to the human rights of asylum seekers, to grant temporary renewable protection and continuing accommodation, and financial support to all asylum-seekers whose application has been rejected and to provide free access to primary and secondary health care to all asylum-seekers until removal, voluntary return, or the granting of leave to remain.
Meanwhile the International Detention Coalition (of which ERI is a member) is organising a lunchtime event "Hear Our Voices" on the immigration detention of children as part of the Day of General Discussion for the Committee on the Rights of the Child which this year is focused on ‘The Rights of All Children in the Context of International Migration.’ It will take place in Geneva, on 28 September.