UK/EU/UNHCR: Unlawful and unworkable – extra-territorial processing of asylum claims.

In early 2003 the United Kingdom Government developed a proposal to send asylum- seekers arriving in the UK and other European Union countries to centres in other countries where their asylum claims would be processed. Some would be sent to processing centres outside the EU in countries such as Albania and Ukraine. Others would be sent back to “protection areas” in their region of origin. Amnesty International is concerned that the UK proposal, a “counter-proposal” by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a European Union Communication which also deals with the issue, do not appear to have given sufficient weight to ensuring respect for the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees arriving in Europe. Nor have these proposals adequately addressed the international legal implications, in particular as regards international refugee and human rights law and standards, and the wider implications for the international refugee protection regime as a whole.

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