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Article 31 is often raised by people concerned about asylum abuse, and asylum rights defenders, in the context of debates about:

  • Whether asylum seekers should claim asylum in the ‘first safe country’ they reach.
  • Whether it is illegal for asylum seekers to enter the country clandestinely or without immigration permission.
  • To what extent Article 31 allows for different treatment of asylum seekers and people granted protection in the UK.

These issues are central to the Government’s New Plan for Immigration policy statement (March 2021), and the related Nationality and Borders Bill which is currently before Parliament.

This short briefing provides an overview of Article 31 and its relevance to the Government’s new asylum proposals. A separate Library briefing (CBP 9725) provides additional background about provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill.

Documents to download

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