Dr Liza Schuster, a sociology academic at City University currently working in Afghanistan
According to work by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism published today, more than 600 former unaccompanied asylum seeking children have been sent back to Afghanistan since 2009 – their claims and appeals rejected.
From the refusal letters it is incontrovertible that the asylum process in the UK is designed not to identify those in need of protection, but to keep to a minimum those granted asylum. If the Home Office was serious about protecting those who meet the criteria of the 1951 Geneva Convention, or who risk serious abuse of their human rights, it would allow the decision-makers time to develop some expertise for a particular country. This would shift the emphasis from disproving claims to discovering whether an individual has a well-founded fear of persecution. And whatever evidence is examined should be done so in good faith and not as means to disproving the claims of a newly arrived unaccompanied minor.
Also: BBC Our World – Deported to Afghanistan
Over the past ten years, thousands of unaccompanied children have fled to the UK from war-torn Afghanistan, but when they turn 18 they have to return or face deportation. Chris Rogers follows some of the young men, who claim their deportation to Afghanistan would be inhumane and that the UK is now their home.