After reading Bamidele’s story you may wonder why he was able to claim compensation from the government for his time in detention and why it took so many attempts before his valid asylum claim was recognised.
Compensation after Detention
In a 2015 a parliamentary inquiry was held to look into Britain’s detention policies. This inquiry concluded that a lack of time limit on detention was directly leading to sloppy case work by the Home Office, which meant that poor decisions were being made. Britain is the only country in Europe to practice indefinite detention. Sadly, Bamidele is not alone in being detained unlawfully. Poor decision making by the Home Office has meant that they have had to spend £15 million in litigation costs between 2011 and 2014 following cases were people have been unlawfully detained. This is one of the arguments for the application of a time limit to detention in the UK as this would encourage better and more efficient Home Office practice. The parliamentary review recommended a time limit of 28 days. To learn more about the campaign for a time limit on detention visit: Detention Action.
‘Failed’ asylum claims
Bamidele made an asylum claim as soon as he was detained here in the UK but his claim was repeatedly rejected. It was only after he had been released from detention, entered a fresh claim with new evidence, which was again rejected, and went to appeal that the validity of his case was recognised. As you read in his story, the judge at the appeal specifically noted the poor handling of Bamidele’s case by the Home Office, who had failed to look properly at the evidence. Unfortunately, the Home Office has a poor track record in getting asylum decisions right the first time round. In 2014 only 36% of initial asylum claims were approved by the Home Office. We have a very tough asylum system and this is a much lower rate of approval than many other European countries. Many of those whose claims are rejected go on to appeal, in 2014 28% of these appeals were granted meaning the Home Office was making the wrong decision around a third of the time. The problem of the Home Office using poor information in their decision-making was reported in the press in January with regards to Eritrea. The Home Office was using information which ‘misquoted sources, blured policy and “facts”, and failed to acknowledge significant human rights issues in the country’. This problem is particularly acute for women who are even more likely to win their cases on appeal. For people coming to claim asylum in the UK this means the asylum process is very stressful, and also that it is difficult to give up hope. When the Home Office is so often wrong on asylum claims it is easy to see why many people continue to repeatedly appeal their cases.