Workers vow to swiftly track asylum cases from ‘safe countries’ like Albania

Labor has said it wants to quickly track asylum claims from countries designated as safe, such as Albania, and close the backlog.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said on Friday that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is recommending a fast-track system to accelerate deportation, saying that “the asylum system will help people fleeing persecution.” Support and conflict.”

quoted by cooper Home Office analysis Of the more than 7,000 Albanians who slipped into the UK in small boats in the year to September and applied for asylum, less than 1% made the first decision. He also noted the decline in the total number of people, accusing the Conservative government of failing to “know” the problem.

“We are proposing a fast-track system for people coming from countries designated as safe, which includes Albania, but also other countries. People are not fleeing when there are no cases of persecution and conflict, they are quickly resolved and people can return quickly,” she said. LBC.

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A warehouse facility for boats used by suspected immigrants in Dover, Kent. Traffickers have concocted a Europe-wide operation to smuggle migrants in dinghies across the English Channel, according to the National Crime Agency.(Gareth Fuller/PA)

“Prevent this huge backlog”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, the Labor front-venture said that by rejecting this approach, the Conservative government was responding to the problem “with the rhetoric we need, not the common sense approach”. said there is.

Asked how Labor would respond to UNHCR’s request that applicants be able to contest that their country of origin is safe, Cooper did not give details of the plan. but mentioned other countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Norway. “Everybody has some version of this,” she said.

She said it wouldn’t be a “holistic approach”, adding: “Of course, we’ll have to put all the right security measures in place. That’s what the refugee system can do. It should still be possible to make decisions very quickly.”

Labor previously introduced a fast track scheme when it was last in power, but the scheme, which detained applicants deemed eligible for the fast track and resulted in 99% of rejections, was replaced by a legislative change. and was eventually suspended after a 2015 ruling. Being “structurally unfair”.

Peter Walsh, a senior fellow at the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory, told Home Affairs MPs on Wednesday that the suspension of the scheme was one of the plausible explanations for the delay in asylum results.

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Home Secretary Suela Braverman leaves 10 Downing Street after a Cabinet meeting in London on November 29, 2022. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

blank rejection

The government has not ruled out introducing a fast tracking scheme.according to The Times of LondonHome Secretary Suela Braverman is reportedly planning to enact legislation to blankly deny cases from safe countries.

The UK Home Office did not respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Although the Labor Party’s proposal and government-reported plan do not specifically target any particular country, Albania has recently been in the spotlight after a sharp increase in the arrival of small ships from the Balkans.

A total of 815 Albanian citizens arrived in small boats throughout 2021, according to Interior Ministry statistics. Between May and September of this year, 11,102 Albanians arrived the same way. period.

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A group of illegal immigrants brought to Dover, England by the RNLI on 25 August 2022. (Gareth Fuller/PA Media)

human smuggling

In August, a video seen on the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok appeared to advertise paid smuggling from Albania to the UK. According to GB News, TikTok has since banned four of his accounts reported by the broadcaster.

The National Crime Agency said last month that Albanian gangs were working with Iraqi Kurdish trafficking syndicates to bring illegal immigrants across the English Channel, instructing British Border Patrol officers what to say, and opening cannabis farms. said he was working at

Andy Hoshaj, an Albanian-born law lecturer at University College London, told the Home Affairs Committee on Wednesday that most of those who left Albania had no economic opportunity, well-being, access to justice or reunion with their families. He said he left because of

He said one-third of Albanians are now living below the poverty line, compared to 21% before the 2019 earthquake and COVID-19 pandemic, and people aged 18 to 34 unemployment rate is about 60%.

But there are also cases fleeing serious domestic violence and criminal gangs, and poverty-stricken children falling victim to trafficking gangs after they and their families find themselves in debt bondage, the commission said. The meeting listened.

Chris Summers contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.