Mending a broken asylum system

A panel event hosted by the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) discussed the challenges facing the UK’s asylum system, and actions that are required to help reform it.

The event, titled ‘Mending a broken asylum system’, featured the Refugee Council’s Chief Executive Maurice Wren, Social Workers Without Borders’ Aimee Georgeson and immigration and asylum barrister Colin Yeo.

An audience of over ninety people were given an up to date analysis of the impact of coronavirus on the UK’s asylum system and those reliant on it, and insights into the challenges facing legal representatives of refugees and asylum seekers.

Speakers also discussed the increase in hostile rhetoric from the government to those supporting displaced people, and the impact of the current political climate and emboldened far-right.

In the aftermath of the government’s rejection of Lord Dubs’ family reunion amendment to the Immigration Bill, discussion also covered issues facing child refugees. The session closed with an overview of practical actions that the audience can take to support refugees and asylum seekers, with the Jewish community rallied to take action.

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director at the Jewish Council for Racial Equality said: “I was delighted to chair this important and timely discussion. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that our asylum system is in need of major reform, and it is crucial that the Jewish community has a strong voice in these calls for change.

To protect asylum seekers and refugees, the government must take urgent action, including immediately halting evictions of refused asylum seekers, making commitments to continue family reunification as we know it after the Brexit transition period and lifting the ban on the right to work for asylum seekers. Recent attacks on legal professionals must also stop, and we would urge all to engage in a more compassionate, understanding politics.”

A recording of the event is available here: