LONDON March 11: The government has reportedly tightened its rules for refugees, requiring them to undergo an official review after five years here, Metro reported.
This means that those who build a life here after seeking asylum could potentially be made to give it all up and go back to the country from which they fled.
For many, this will mean returning to an unstable conflict zone, whilst others could face persecution. The decision, ultimately, will be made by immigration officers in the Home Office.
Refugee Council’s chief executive Maurice Wren told Channel 4 News that a wrong decision on the part of an officer, or an incorrect assessment of a country’s situation by the Home Office, would effectively be a ‘death sentence’.
‘If we get it wrong, at worst it’s a death certificate the Home Office will be signing for these people,’ he told the broadcaster.
‘We’ve got to be more sensitive about what giving protection to refugees actually means in practice. This is nothing to do with giving protection to refugees.’
And the United Nation’s refugees body, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, agrees.
In a statement, the UNHCR said: ‘We’re concerned that this may have a serious impact on the well being of refugees and their ability to settle.
‘We also feel this is not needed, because under British and International law there are already mechanisms in place to review refugee status.’