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Asylum: Malawi

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place to monitor the welfare of asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK using Malawian passports but who claim to be Zimbabweans after they have been returned to Malawi. (248731)

Unsuccessful asylum claimants are returned to Malawi only if they are entitled to reside there, and only when the decision making and independent appeals system have found that this would be consistent with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. Among many other factors, decision makers and the courts take full account of any risk that the claimant would be removed from Malawi to a country where they could be at risk.

The UK Border Agency does not routinely monitor the treatment of individual unsuccessful asylum claimants on return to their country of origin. They are, by definition, foreign nationals who have been found as a matter of law not to need the UK's protection and it would be inconsistent with that finding for the UK to assume an ongoing responsibility for them when they return to their own country.

The UK Border Agency does constantly strive to obtain the best information to inform the asylum decision making process. It works closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including the British embassy in Harare and the British high commission in Lilongwe, who will pass to the UK Border Agency any relevant information they receive regarding the treatment of unsuccessful asylum seekers returned from the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what co-operation her Department receives from the Malawian High Commission and the Malawian Ministry of Home Affairs in connection with establishing the entitlement to Malawian citizenship of asylum seekers who arrive in the UK using Malawian passports but claiming to be Zimbabweans. (248732)

Information received from asylum seekers for their asylum claim is treated in confidence and the details of their asylum claims are not disclosed to the authorities of the country or countries they fear being returned to. The nationality or entitlement of an applicant to reside in a country is determined by looking at and weighing up all of the available documentary and oral evidence. Where a person holds a genuine Malawian passport or other identity document issued by the Malawian authorities, this would normally be enough to show that the holder is entitled to reside in Malawi.

Where claims are unsuccessful, limited disclosure of information may be made to foreign authorities, including the Malawian authorities where we are returning an individual to Malawi, if it is necessary for travel documentation purposes.

No reference is made to the fact the individual has claimed asylum in the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what co-operation her Department receives from the Malawian High Commission and the Malawian Ministry of Home Affairs in confirming as genuine the Malawian passports of asylum seekers who arrive in the UK using Malawian passports but who claim asylum as Zimbabweans. (248733)

Information received from asylum seekers for their asylum claim is treated in confidence and the details of their asylum claims are not disclosed to the authorities of the country or countries they fear being returned to. The nationality or entitlement of an applicant to reside in a country is determined by looking at and weighing up all of the available documentary and oral evidence. Where a person holds a genuine Malawian passport or other identity document issued by the Malawian authorities, this would normally be enough to show that the holder is entitled to reside in Malawi.

Where claims are unsuccessful, limited disclosure of information may be made to foreign authorities, including the Malawian authorities where we are returning an individual to Malawi, if it is necessary for travel documentation purposes.

No reference is made to the fact the individual has claimed asylum in the UK.