In one of its most controversial reports the Centre for Social Justice will today call for failed asylum seekers to receive support or be allowed to work. 

The think tank founded by Iain Duncan Smith and directed by Philippa Stroud argues that current rules are forcing failed asylum seekers underground, including into prostitution.

Speaking on this morning’s Today programme the former Tory leader said that compassion and effectiveness were not alternatives.  By treating asylum seekers badly Mr Duncan Smith said the system was failing everyone.  Only one-in-five failed asylum seekers to the UK return voluntarily to their home countries compared to four-in-five in nations like Sweden.  The cost of a forced return is £11,000; ten times greater than a voluntary return.

IDS issued this statement:

"The British government is using forced destitution as a means of encouraging people to leave voluntarily. It is a failed policy. UK policy is still driven by the thesis, clearly falsified, that we can encourage people to leave by being nasty. The result is that we rely heavily on forcible return, which is both very costly and time-consuming, and engages only a small proportion of those whose claims are refused. This system gives refused asylum seekers good reason to abscond and little reason to engage with officialdom."

The report issued by the CSJ calls for comprehensive changes to Britain’s asylum seekers including much more investment in early processing and appeal of cases.  It is a very persuasive read.

Tim Montgomerie

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