Asylum: Religious Freedom:Written question - 42622

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 13 July 2016
Home Office
Asylum: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received on reforming the questions asked on asylum applications related to persecution related to religious beliefs.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 21 July 2016

In June 2016 The Home Office received the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion’s report, ‘Fleeing persecution: Asylum claims in the UK on religious freedom grounds’. We are carefully considering the report and its recommendations and will provide a response in due course, including whether we will consider whether any changes to the way we handle religious-based claims are appropriate.

The report acknowledges the progress made by the Home Office with regards to guidance and training provided to its staff but highlighted the Group’s view that there were some discrepancies between the Home Office policy and practice.

The Home Office carefully considers all asylum claims on their individual merits and grants protection for those who genuinely need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In every asylum case the particular circumstances of the individual are considered in light of published country information, which includes issues relating specifically to religious freedoms.

Published guidance on the interviewing and consideration of religious claims is regularly reviewed and takes into consideration the views of religious groups and other stakeholders.

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