Asylum Seekers from Zimbabwe

House of Lords written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Liberal Democrat

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in the case of failed asylum seekers who are unable to return to Zimbabwe because of the human rights situation there, they will use their power to grant a temporary right to remain in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Baroness Scotland of Asthal Baroness Scotland of Asthal Minister of State, Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management)

We recognise that conditions in Zimbabwe are such that there are individuals who will be able to demonstrate a need for international protection. Where it is found that they meet the definition of a refugee in the 1951 UN Refugee Covention, asylum is granted. There may also be individuals whose circumstances are such that they qualify for leave under our published policies on humanitarian protection or discretionary leave.

If an asylum or human rights application is refused, there will be a right of appeal to the independent appellate authorities against that decision. Should a claim be refused and any appeal be unsuccessful that means that, for that individual, return to Zimbabwe would be safe. Although we are not, in the wider context of the Government's position on Zimbabwe, generally enforcing returns of such individuals at this time, we consider it entirely reasonable to expect them to leave voluntarily. It would not be appropriate in those circumstances to grant them leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

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