16 June 2023
British Red Cross response to the National audit office report on asylum transformation
Responding to a National Audit Office report on the government’s asylum transformation programme, Alex Fraser, the British Red Cross’s UK director for refugee support and restoring family links, said:
“Behind the numbers in today’s report are people who have fled violence and persecution. They are unable to work, separated from loved ones and often living in inadequate accommodation. They cannot get on with their lives until the government processes their asylum claims. We see every day the toll this takes on their physical and mental health.
“We welcome the government's commitment to reducing the backlog but the changes they've introduced are still too complicated and the process is still too slow, leaving more than 172,000 men, women and children living in limbo. Those that have to decide asylum cases also need to be fully trained to make sure there is a fair decision for the individual and to ensure decisions are made correctly the first time.
“Tackling the backlog will reduce the pressure on accommodation and the need for more contingency hotels, barracks and barges, which are no place for people who have experienced trauma to recover and access the support that they need.”
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About the British Red Cross
For over 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. With millions of volunteers across 192 countries, the British Red Cross is part of an international humanitarian Movement that’s there for people before, during and after a crisis. Together, we are the world’s emergency responders.