1. We strongly recommend that the Azure card be replaced with a cash benefit as soon as possible.
2. We strongly recommend that Asylum seekers be informed, as a matter of routine, of their rights to complain about interpreters provided and to request a new interpreter and / or an interpreter of their own gender. In cases where the UKBA have not done this, any adverse decision about the client’s case be deemed unlawful.
3. That evidence of persecution of particular nationalities / ethnic groups from Amnesty International and other reputable Human Rights organisations be given due consideration in COI Operational Guidelines, and that due respect be given to COI evidence from sources other than the UKBA COI guidelines.
4. That UKBA case workers must accept medical evidence as bona fide evidence when provided by medical staff with demonstrable expertise and experience in their field, regardless of their academic qualifications.
5. That checks are made on the types of training given to UKBA staff and, more particularly, on the ways the effectiveness of that training and the competence of staff is assessed and monitored. We believe that, in particular, UKBA case workers should be better trained in dealing with traumatised persons suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression and in gender-related cases.
6. That mothers of children under 5 be given the right (and support) to bring their children with them to interview.
7. That UKBA Reporting Centres accept medical requests about reporting times and intervals for those deemed medically unfit to report by their doctors.
8. That reputable third sector organisations dealing with asylum seekers be empowered to complain about unfair and inhumane practice by the UKBA.
9. That timescales for appeals of all descriptions should be more realistic, taking into account the fact that letters may need to be translated and that other organisations (especially the NHS) are not equipped to deal with short deadlines.