HL Deb 24 June 2004 vol 662 c139WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What they have done to publicise the safe return of refugees and asylum seekers to their own countries and communities, so as to counteract any public perception that all asylum seekers and migrants are coming one way. [HL2169]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal)

The Government recognise that there is scope for us to promote our voluntary and enforced removals activity more than we are doing currently and we are taking various steps to try to achieve this. Given the sensitive nature of removals, we need to exercise caution and consider the safety and well-being of the individuals being removed. However, we are already taking steps to promote some enforced removals by putting some information into the public domain. This includes:

  • Providing the media with updates on cases where they have previously displayed an interest;
  • Providing general information in the form of press notices on removals to countries where removal has previously been problematic, for example, Afghanistan;
  • Providing general information about removals initiatives such as charter flights and where appropriate allowing the media to film these events;
  • Inviting members of the press to accompany officers on enforcement operations; and
  • Publishing quarterly statistics on all areas of IND activity, including removals. These statistics can be found on the Home Office website.