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Responding to the proposed overhaul of the UK’s asylum system

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh on BBC 5 Live

Responding to the proposed overhaul of the UK’s asylum system

In late March, Professor Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh appeared on BBC 5 Live to respond to the Government’s proposed overhaul of the UK’s asylum system.

The interview first discussed the UK’s long history of preventing refugees from seeking asylum and thus of ‘reducing the space for protection.’

The proposed new measures continue this emphasis, undermining internationally recognized legal principles such as those contained in the 1951 Geneva Convention. These protect the right to seek and enjoy asylum, with claims judged on their substance rather than on how asylum seekers arrive or have attempted to arrive in the UK.

Elena went on to argue that the continuous political rhetoric in the UK, depicting the UK as a ‘magnet’ for refugees, is erroneous. In fact, 85-90% of refugees seek sanctuary within the so-called ‘global-South’, in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. It is here that the UCL Geography Refugees Hosts’ project has been examining local responses to displacement from Syria.

Listen to the interview here and read more about Refugee Hosts’ research here.


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Refugee Hosts