The mistreatment of medical evidence by the Home Office is a critical issue for torture survivors: this can and does result in asylum claims being incorrectly refused, with grave results for those affected. We urgently need your help to change this.
Thanks to our Proving Torture campaign, the Home Office has acknowledged that issues exist around the assessment of asylum claims made by torture survivors. The Government has agreed that change is needed, but their progress has been slow, and not enough has been done.
As a result, we’re now calling on the Home Affairs Committee to conduct an inquiry into the treatment of medical evidence in torture cases, and we need your help!
Please contact your MP and ask them to join our call for an inquiry.
Our research revealed that Home Office caseworkers frequently mishandle and disregard expert medical evidence of torture. Amongst those torture survivors in our study whose outcomes were known, three quarters of cases initially refused were overturned on appeal. In every single case we looked at, asylum caseworkers failed to apply the correct standard of proof when assessing independent medical evidence of torture.
Following the publication of Proving Torture, more than 40,000 people signed our petition calling on the Home Secretary to ensure that asylum seekers received the protection to which they’re entitled. Our report was repeatedly discussed in a Parliamentary debate, at which the then Immigration Minister committed publicly to improving Home Office systems, and ensuring that the problems we’d identified would not be allowed to continue.
Since then, however, progress has been slow, and we are still a long way from securing the changes needed to properly protect asylum seekers who have survived torture.
We urgently need to keep the pressure up on the newly-appointed Immigration Minister, encourage him to honour the commitments made by his predecessor, and ensure that the fragile progress we’ve secured is not lost.
Your support is essential for making this happen. By calling on your MP to support an inquiry into the Home Office’s treatment of medical evidence, you will be helping to keep the Government honest, and ensure that torture survivors are properly protected and treated fairly.