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Access to Asylum in Scotland Motion, 16/02/15 [S]

Motion lodged before the Scottish Parliament on 16 February 2015 by Ken Macintosh (Lab) on Restricted Access to Asylum in Scotland. The full text of the motion reads:

That the Parliament condemns what it understands is the impending rule change by the Home Office that will further restrict access to the asylum process in Scotland; believes that the change will require asylum seekers whose applications have been refused to travel to Liverpool in person to submit any new evidence in support of their claim; notes the calls for an urgent review of this proposal; is concerned that it will apply regardless of where people live; understands that no support will be offered to help people meet it, unless exceptional circumstances, which are currently undefined, pertain; believes that the people affected are, by definition, without financial support; considers that the rule change will further restrict access to the asylum system; notes the existing restrictions in access that are experienced by newly-arrived asylum seekers across the country including in the West Scotland region, who must travel to Croydon to register their claim, without support or recognition by the Home Office; believes that this new rule will not only have an adverse impact on new and refused asylum seekers but will further add to the barriers faced by women survivors of violence in accessing the asylum process, which requires them to disclose experiences of violence, sometimes despite their children being present, through often a male interpreter or interviewers who lack specific training, an issue which has been highlighted by the Protection Gap campaign; expresses doubts about the legality of the proposed change; notes the view that consideration should be given to abandoning it in light of its possible impact on refused asylum seekers, including the danger of increased destitution and greater vulnerability to exploitation, which could render asylum seekers, including women survivors of violence, unable to access any international protection, and notes the recommendation by the Smith Commission that the UK and Scottish governments should work together to explore the possibility of asylum seekers in Scotland being able to lodge both new and fresh asylum claims to the Home Office from where they reside.

For full details see the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin 16 February 2015 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin 16 February 2015