Skip to main content

Detainees

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances embassy officials from foreign countries are given access to detained asylum seekers before their claims have been refused. (141406)

Embassy officials are not given access to asylum seekers before their claims are refused, unless the individual in question makes a specific request for consular access. Asylum seekers will not be prevented from meeting officials from the embassy of their country of origin if they make a specific request for consular access.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether detained asylum seekers are given a choice whether to meet officials from the embassy of their country of origin. (141407)

The Home Office would not ask an asylum seeker to meet officials from the embassy of their country of origin until and unless a negative decision was taken in respect of his claim for protection in the United Kingdom. After that time, refused asylum seekers may be requested to meet officials from the embassy of their country of origin to assist in the process of obtaining documents for their return. Such meetings are not compulsory although refused asylum seekers are expected to co-operate in arrangements for their return.