Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 22nd October 2015.

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Andrew Hewett: Operationally, we support more than 14,000 people a year through 56 towns and cities in the UK, offering information and support to asylum seekers and refugees. The vast majority do not exhibit behaviour that would lead us to be concerned that they were exploiting the system. They present with genuine needs, and there are real issues. If the cases are becoming more complex, it is possibly because conflict is becoming more complex. We are moving away from state declaring war on state to a much more complicated, multifaceted situation involving different factors and different factions within regions. It becomes much more difficult for asylum seekers to prove who is persecuting them, where they are being persecuted and whether or not they could be safely returned to a region of their country, because the situation is so complex and so rapidly changing. We are perhaps seeing an increase in the complexity of cases, but it is being driven by what is happening on the ground and it reflects the nature of those conflicts.