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House of Commons Hansard
Asylum of Nelly Gelves
13 December 2018
Volume 651

The petition of residents of North East Lincolnshire,

Declares that the situation in Venezuela is desperate and inhumane; further that it would be wrong for an asylum seeker of 73 years old to be returned to political and religious repression in a country where she has practically no access to money, food and basic medicines.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to support the Asylum and Humanitarian Protection of Nelly Gelves in the UK to allow her to continue to live with her family.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Melanie Onn , Official Report, 21 November 2018; Vol. 649, c. 976 .]


Observations from the Minister of State for Immigration (Caroline Nokes):

The Government cannot comment on individual cases, because doing so would breach their obligations to treat such personal matters in confidence.

The Government have a proud record of providing protection for those who genuinely need it, in accordance with our international obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. Every asylum claim is carefully considered on its individual merits, by assessing all the evidence provided by the claimant against policy, relevant caselaw and available country information from a wide range of recognised and publicly disclosable sources. These include the UN and its agencies, Governments, the media and human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Government will grant protection where someone demonstrates they face persecution or serious harm in their country and they are unable to seek protection from the national authorities or move to another part of their country to live safely. The Government are very clear that we do not return anyone who faces persecution or serious harm to their country.

There may be exceptional situations where conditions in a particular country, for example, absence of water, food or basic shelter, are unacceptable to the point that return in itself would constitute inhuman and degrading treatment for the individual concerned. Some of the factors which will be taken into account by asylum decision makers when considering the asylum claim include age, gender, ill-health, the effect on children, other family circumstances, and available support structures.

There is also provision in the Home Office policy on Discretionary Leave to allow people to stay in the UK on a discretionary basis, where they do not qualify for protection, but where there are other exceptional circumstances such that expecting them to return to their country would not be appropriate.

Those who are found not to need protection are refused and have a right of appeal to the courts. Once their appeals rights are exhausted they are required to leave the UK.  If they do not leave voluntarily, the Government will seek to enforce their removal.