Home Department written question – answered at on 29 June 2004.

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Photo of Mr Iain Coleman Mr Iain Coleman Labour, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 on asylum seekers who have (a) been trafficked to the UK, (b) been smuggled into the UK and (c) suffered rape or torture or other serious traumatic experiences before arrival in the UK; and what written documents he expects such asylum seekers to produce as evidence of their circumstances.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

Assessment of the impact of section 55 is integral to the close monitoring of the operation of the policy since implementation on 8 January 2003. As part of these arrangements the National Asylum Support Service maintains an open dialogue with the voluntary sector agencies, local government and other stakeholders. The Government have reviewed section 55 in the light of experience of its operation, the changing pattern of asylum applications since implementation, concerns raised about the impact of the policy, and most recently in the light of the Court of Appeal judgment of 21 May 2004 in the case of Limbuela and others.

Each case is decided individually on its merits. Those who can give a credible account, with or without supporting documents, that their asylum claim was made within three days of arrival in the United Kingdom will normally be eligible to apply for National Asylum Support Service (MASS) support. Families with children and those who can show that they would suffer treatment contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) receive support even if they did not make their asylum claim as soon as reasonably practicable.

No evidence has been produced to indicate that the categories of asylum seekers listed in the question have been adversely affected by the provisions of section 55.

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No3 people think not

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