HC Deb 05 November 1998 vol 318 cc651-2W
Ms Moran

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are being made to issue monthly statistics of asylum. [58943]

Mr. Straw

Until now, the asylum statistics have been available only in the Home Offices' annual Asylum Statistics Bulletin and in a summary form twice a year in the Control of Immigration Statistical Bulletin. These Bulletins contain detailed information on asylum applications, demographic characteristics of asylum seekers, decisions, appeals, detention and removals.

Selected monthly information has, however, been available only on request from the Home Office Press Office. I am therefore arranging for selected monthly statistics of asylum to be placed on the Home Office Research Development Statistics Website (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/index.htm) on the 25th of each month, or the next working day, and to be also available through the Library and the Home Office Press Office.

Mr. Malins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the percentages of the total number of asylum seekers who were given(a) refugee status and (b) exceptional leave to remain for each year for which figures are known since 1993; what assessment he has made of the factors underlying changes in those percentages; and if he will make a statement. [57759]

Mr. George Howarth

The requested information is given in the table.

Cases1 recognised as refugees and granted asylum and thosegranted exceptional leave, excluding dependants2, as a proportion of all decisions—1993–1997 Principal applicants
Year Recognised as a refugee and granted asylum Granted exceptional leave
1993 7 48
1994 4 17
1995 5 16
1996 6 13
19973 11 9
1Information is of initial determination decisions excluding the outcome of appeals and other subsequent decisions,
2 Cases not recognised as refugees but granted exceptional leave
3 Provisional figures

The proportion of applicants recognised as refugees and granted asylum shows little variation between 1993 and 1996. The increase to 11 per cent. in 1997 reflects grants to Somali and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia nationals. In the first nine months of 1998, the proportion has increased further to 17 per cent. This is partly due to changes made in 1998 so that deserving cases are recognised earlier in the process. The fall in the numbers of asylum applicants granted exceptional leave after 1993 reflects the introduction in July 1993 of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act, in which grants of exceptional leave were limited to cases where there were genuine humanitarian factors.

The Home Office is continually reassessing the situation in each country in the context of the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its associated 1967 protocol.