The UNHCR has recently published a new report on Detained Asylum Casework in the United Kingdom. It is an audit of the UK’s approach to the process of detained asylum decision-making.

UNHCR states that it is well established in international and UK law that asylum-seekers may only be detained as a measure of last resort and only for legitimate purposes. For asylum-seekers, especially those identified as particularly vulnerable, the experience of detention itself presents a significant risk of harm. In addition, as part of an asylum procedure, detention has the potential to impair the quality of asylum decision-making and erode procedural fairness. For these reasons, procedures which provide for the consideration of asylum claims from within detention, such as the DAC process, require especially close and continuous scrutiny.

This report makes 15 recommendations for change, covering detention decision-making, assessing and determining asylum claims, and procedural safeguards.