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Asylum: Religion

Question for Home Office

UIN HL14729, tabled on 21 March 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that officials assessing asylum applications have sufficient theological information to interrogate claims made by those seeking refuge from persecution on account of their faith.

Answered on

4 April 2019

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights.

Asylum decision-makers carefully assess protection needs following an interview by considering all available evidence provided by the claimant in light of published country information. They receive extensive training on considering asylum claims and must follow published Home Office policy guidance. Guidance on interviewing and decision making are provided in published policy instructions on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/asylum-decision-making-guidance-asylum-instructions and

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/considering-asylum-claims-and-assessing-credibility-instruction

The Home Office have worked closely with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Asylum Advocacy Group (AAG) for many years, to help improve their approach to religious based claims and have recently worked with them to develop and produce a specialist training package.

The aim of this course is to ensure that where religion or belief is raised in an asylum claim, asylum decision makers appropriately consider all the available evidence in accordance International, European & Domestic law and Home Office Asylum Policy, when interviewing asylum applicants and making decisions on their claims.

The course will be rolled out to Asylum Senior Caseworkers and Technical Specialists in April 2019 and all asylum Decision Makers over the course of the subsequent three months.

Answered by

Home Office