30 January 2013
The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, said
today that he had been shocked by the lack of support and respect
shown in this country to those who had fled in terror from their
own, and had arrived in the UK looking for sanctuary and help.
Bishop John was speaking at the
launch of a report from a cross-party parliamentary inquiry
into Asylum Support for Children and Young People.
He added that an increasing proportion of those seeking asylum
in this country are fleeing from religious persecution and that the
increasing abuse of blasphemy laws around the world was part of the
The Inquiry, led by Sarah Teather MP and supported by the
Children's Society, looked at how asylum seeking children and
families are supported by the Home Office.The Report reveals that
alarmingly low levels of asylum support are forcing thousands of
children and their families seeking safety in the UK into severe
poverty, putting babies' and mothers' lives at risk.
"Those seeking asylum in our country are coming here because
they are scared. I was frankly shocked at the some of the stories
we picked up in our report with witnesses telling us how officials
would just let themselves into asylum seekers accommodation. On one
occasion a child was downstairs in his home and was absolutely
petrified," he said and called on churches to take a lead in
raising awareness of the issue.
Among its recommendations the report urges the Government
- Make sure asylum support for all children is in line with
- Abolish the cashless support system ('Section
- Allow parents to work so they can provide for their families
and prevent them from being pushed into destitution.
- ENDS -