UK Home Secretary Calls for Stricter Asylum Criteria
The United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has stated that individuals who fear discrimination due to their gender or sexual orientation in their home countries should not automatically qualify for asylum in the UK or any Western nation.
Braverman made these remarks in Washington, D.C., emphasizing her belief that multiculturalism has “failed” and expressing concerns about uncontrolled immigration, which she referred to as an “existential threat” to Western countries.
Calls for Overhaul of UN Refugee Rules
Braverman called for a comprehensive review of the United Nations (UN) refugee rules and cautioned that without effective border control measures, Western nations may not be able to endure the consequences of unchecked immigration.
She contended that many migrants to Western nations are not in immediate danger and urged for a reconsideration of the UN’s definition of refugees.
Critique of the Asylum System
The UK Home Secretary criticized the current asylum system, labeling it as “unsustainable” and attributing it to creating significant incentives for illegal migration.
Braverman argued that the majority of migrants have passed through multiple safe countries and resided in such countries for extended periods.
Consequently, she argued that the concept of “refugee” should be reevaluated concerning the legitimacy of onward movement.
Shift in Definition and Lowered Threshold for Asylum
Braverman pointed out that the UN Convention defines refugees as those with a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”
However, she noted a shift in practice towards interpreting persecution as discrimination and mentioned a move from a “well-founded fear” to a “credible” or “plausible fear.”
These shifts have, in her view, expanded the number of individuals who may qualify for asylum and lowered the threshold for doing so.
Balancing Protection with Sustainability
While acknowledging that there are regions in the world where it is extremely challenging to be gay or a woman and where individuals face persecution, Braverman emphasized the importance of striking a balance.
She asserted that the asylum system cannot be sustained if merely being gay or female and fearing discrimination in one’s country of origin is sufficient to qualify for protection.
Braverman’s remarks underscore the need for a reevaluation of asylum criteria in Western nations.