In light of the current numbers of people seeking asylum in the EU, including in the UK, an article on BBC News Magazine online looks at the asylum process and asks the question, ‘What happens to asylum seekers who are denied refugee status in the UK?’
They spoke with Professor Alexander Betts about the Dublin regulation which sets out criteria for identifying which country should look at and process an asylum claim. This is usually the first EU country that an asylum seeker arrives in. The UK Home Office and other EU governments use this rule to send people back to countries such as France, Italy and Greece.
However, as Professor Betts explains, “It’s legally and diplomatically complicated” to remove people to a country that is not their country of origin. Further, he says, “One of the biggest challenges with the Dublin system is that it creates a fundamental inequality, by placing a disproportionate responsibility on frontline states like Greece and Italy.”
The article goes on to highlight various problems with the asylum process, such as the time it takes, the backlog of cases, and the fact that many people who are refused asylum and are awaiting removal in detention facilities (with no time limit) are ‘effectively unreturnable’.
A recent report, co-authored by Dr Cathryn Costello, calls for a fundamental rethink of the Dublin system and for legal and safe avenues to protection in the EU. More>>