The media is fond of shining a spotlight on our asylum system, it makes good copy or TV. Its not the best way of running a debate but it does illustrate a reality that should not be overlooked. Britain like the rest of developed Europe is facing increasing asylum demands, probably in the region of 70% increase in the last 8 years.
The influx of asylum seekers is as a direct consequence of the numerous conflicts and wars around the globe. Asylum of itself is not a problem and should never be seen in terms of being a problem, its the fact that there is at the same time massive economic migration going on. Asylum is a tradition of most developed western European nations, a proud tradition in most cases and it must be preserved, it must be accepted that we are fortunate and have the honor of assisting those who need our help. I find it shocking that there are some who reside in this country who feel differently.
Nonetheless, it might be fair to comment that our processing centers are perhaps close to full and stretched for staff. The cracks are becoming obvious. The system is unable to deal with complex situations meaning it slows and blocks preventing those who might most need our help from getting it because we just don’t know they need it.
We should feel rightly proud that asylum seekers come to our countries with the intention of seeking help and maybe even settling on a more permanent basis. The contribute to the wealth (economically and culturally) to our societies. But its clear that the social support systems cannot support these people, those employed to help, the case-workers burn-out with massive levels of sickness absence. All the time the human tragedies build. There is a need to protect the individuals but also there is a need for process which is at best a delayed process.
I would agree with anybody who said reform is urgently needed. Without question we should not settle for half measures, current failures should be corrected, but not at any cost. The economic cost of failure is mounting but so is the probable economic cost of doing the job right. My experience in industry is that doing something right first time is the most economically cost effective way of doing a job. I have no doubt that the same apply’s to the asylum system.
Delays might be necessary, so improved holding centers to accommodate the asylum seekers while the initial checks are being done would be a really good start. Simplification of procedures and processes would also help greatly. These two factors would simply add to the quality and speed of service provided, making it more respectful and certain in outcome.
A win-win in anybody’s language I guess.
At the borders of course better directional control would be needed, this is not a resources issue but probably a training and information issue.
And then once a final decision is made the person if successful should be assimilated into society. With a fully renovated procedure the asylum seeker and society will be both better served.
Final decisions are important and really need to be as speedy as possible. I’m sure most would agree that an asylum seeker should not have to face an almost endless wait on deportation or not. There has got to be clear pathways for those who do not gain asylum, they should not be expected to wait for an appropriate moment for return to their own country. Our collective responsibility as a European Union should be ensuring those who want and need out help can access it but those who do not are dealt with firmly, fairly and quickly.
- Asylum policy ‘shameful, disturbing’ (sbs.com.au)
- Nigerian asylum seeker on hunger striker in Britain loses release bid. (newsafrica.co.uk)
- The PS are now hoping that Kouvola stops receiving asylum seekers and quota refugees by 2016 (migranttales.net)
- Barracks to house asylum seekers burnt down in Serbia (worldbulletin.net)
- Morrison delivers warning to asylum seekers on Nauru (sbs.com.au)
- Detention centres inhumane: UN (theage.com.au)
- Australian Customs Rip Asylum Seekers’ Boat in Half, Probably by Accident (gizmodo.co.uk)
- UN alarmed over conditions in asylum-seeker camps in Nauru and PNG (abc.net.au)
- Serbian bid to house asylum seekers foiled after barracks burnt down (timesofmalta.com)
- Asylum seeker arrives dressed as cricketer (abc.net.au)