To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to improve his Department's ability to assess asylum applications made on the grounds of religious or belief-based persecution.
22 May 2019
The Home Office has been working 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 recently to develop and produce a specialist training package.
The Asylum Learning and Development Team started to deliver the specialist training package on religious claims on Monday 8 April 2019, which will be mandatory for all asylum decision-makers.
The aim of this course is to ensure that where religion or belief is raised in an asylum claim, decision makers appropriately consider all the available evidence in accordance International, European & Domestic law and Home Office policy, when interviewing asylum seekers and making decisions on their claims.
In order to alleviate any concerns about the way in which vulnerable claims are dealt with, a review has been commissioned to investigate the way claims based on religious grounds and LGBT+ are assessed. The aim and approach of the Review will be to ensure that empathy and religious literacy is considered by Decision Makers when assessing these highly complex claims, acknowledging the impact of their decision whilst ensuring appropriate rigour is applied as these routes can be open to fraudulent claims.