In the UK, up to 120,000 people are waiting for their asylum application to be processed. From December 2017 to June 2022, their number nearly quadrupled to 122,206, according to the Refugee Council, the refugee organization, citing figures from the Ministry of the Interior. There has been a sharp increase in the last year and a half in particular.
Figures show that a third of applicants wait between one and three years for their applications to be processed, and about 725 people, including 155 children, have been in limbo for more than five years.
The Conservative government has been trying for some time to tackle the illegal crossings through the canal. For example, there is a plan for people who come to the country without permission to be transferred to Rwanda, to apply for asylum from there. However, more and more people continue to arrive, also because no one has actually been flown into the country yet. The first flight was due to depart in June, but was canceled at the last minute after the European Court of Human Rights veered.
“These people are coming to Britain in search of safety,” said Ennur Solomon, president of the Refugee Council. “But they were condemned to years of anxiety and uncertainty, with all the consequences for their mental health, without being able to integrate into their new community and rebuild their lives.”
Elimination of accumulation
He called on the government to take immediate action to end the massive backlog of asylum applications. This could be done by hiring more staff and prioritizing those at risk and those who have been waiting for more than two years, Solomon said.
An Interior Ministry spokesman responded that the record number of arrivals was putting too much pressure on the asylum system. “The government is doing what it can and has already increased the number of employees significantly.”
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