World Refugee Day takes place on 20th June.

The UK has a proud history of helping people fleeing violence and persecution. World Refugee Day provides an opportunity to remember our moral and legal obligations to vulnerable people seeking asylum and to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees around the world.

We need effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis and that Britain must continue to uphold its proud tradition of honouring the spirit of international law and our moral obligations by taking our fair share of refugees.  A streamlined system to assess asylum claims fairly, as well as treating asylum-seekers humanely, must be urgently implemented. When the Home Office takes too long to decide a claim, or makes an inaccurate decision, people suffer.

There should be no place for the use of torture anywhere in the world – it is illegal and when allegations are made it is essential that they are fully investigated. The UK must act as a champion for the absolute ban on torture and urge others to respect the rule of law and the freedoms and human rights that every person is entitled to.  While victims of torture and other vulnerable people should not be in immigration detention, current safeguards are not working and vulnerable people are still being detained for long periods.  The Home Office should implement an effective pre-detention screening process to determine whether someone is vulnerable before they are detained and that there should be a 28-day limit on immigration detention.

Hilary Benn
MP for Leeds Central

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