General Article Asylum seekers win back their rights

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The Refugee Council welcomes the Home Office's decision to reinstate basic levels of support to asylum seekers, even if they do not make their asylum claim immediately. Following a concerted campaign from refugee and homelessness groups through the courts the Government has revised the way it is to implement Section 55, the controversial policy which denies basic food and housing to asylum seekers who did not make their claim for asylum at ports of entry, such as Heathrow or Dover.

The decision follows a ruling from the Court of Appeal in May 2004, which found that in the case of three destitute asylum seekers their human rights had been breached. The Government has changed its policy, so that it operates more humanely, following the court ruling. The Government has indicated that it still intends to challenge it in the House of Lords but the Refugee Council's Chief Executive, Maeve Sherlock, warned against this:

'We welcome the decision to change how this policy, known as Section ...

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