However in recent years some immigration and asylum policies have undermined these basic rights. Find out more about these policies.
The UK and other European countries are also making it increasingly difficult for people to exercise their right to seek asylum. Despite the fact that asylum seekers are entering countries legally under international law, they are often treated like criminals. Find out more about the right to seek asylum.
Asylum Election Pledge
In the run up to the 2010 General Election, Liberty, the Refugee Council and Scottish Refugee Council, called on all parliamentary candidates to sign our pledge to respect the right to asylum in discussions about asylum and immigration and remember Britain’s history as a place of refuge for the persecuted.
“There is no place for racism and xenophobia in modern British politics. Nor is democratic debate advanced by the denigration of the most vulnerable in our country, including children and asylum seekers who do not enjoy the right to participate in elections.
I promise to remember the importance of refugee protection, even in free and wide-ranging debates about immigration policy. I will never play fast and loose with the proud tradition of a nation that must always offer succour to those in genuine fear of persecution.”
Over 1,000 parliamentary candidates signed, including the leaders of the three main parties.
Read the Liberty Guide to Campaigning (PDF) for tips on how to contact your MP.
Liberty has been involved in a number of important legal cases around asylum, including representing three detainees in Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Centre who claimed they were seriously mistreated. Following Liberty’s legal challenge, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Government was wrong not to order an independent inquiry into the allegations. Read our press release for more information about the case.