UK/EU: New report giving 'real reasons' for asylum welcomed

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director, Stephen Bowen, said:

'We welcome this report, showing the real reasons why people seek asylum: persecution, violence and often fear for their lives.

'It is time that asylum is seen for what it really is: not a dirty word, but an essential, humanitarian response to crisis situations around the world.

'Facts, rather than myths, must inform the asylum debate. Politicians and the public must realise that Britain, the fifth richest country in the world, takes only two per cent of the world's refugees. Most are hosted in the poorer countries of Asia and Africa.

'The most recent UK asylum figures showed that persecution and conflict drive the search for asylum, not supposed 'soft touch' factors. People need only look at the human rights records of countries from which most people fled, such as Iraq and Zimbabwe, to see the root cause for asylum.'

The human rights organisation has for years documented the circumstances that force people to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Amnesty International has also campaigned against the 'myths' that have been propagated about people who seek asylum in the UK.

Amnesty International UK is involved in Refugee Week - 16-22 June 2003. Find out online how you can take action on asylum and refugee issues.

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