Swansea academic appointed to asylum advisory group

A Swansea University academic has been appointed to an independent government advisory group which advises and informs on the asylum decision making process.

Prof Heaven CrawleyProfessor Heaven Crawley AcSS of the Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) has been appointed by John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to sit on the Independent Advisory Group on Country of Origin Information (IAGCI). The appointment will be until 31 May 2015.

The IAGCI, which was established in March 2009, advises the Chief Inspector about the content and quality of Country of Origin Information (COI) produced by the Home Office to inform the decisions that are made about whether asylum seekers should be granted refugee status and allowed to remain in the UK. The Committee makes recommendations of a more general nature about the asylum process.

Professor Crawley is widely regarded as one of the country’s leading experts on the UK asylum system and has undertaken research on various aspects of the asylum process for more than 20 years. Prior to joining the University she led the Home Office’s own asylum research programme and was an Associate Director at the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr). Professor Crawley was recently conferred the title of Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) in recognition of her influential policy research.

In 2011 Professor Crawley was commissioned by the IAGCI to write a research report into the ways in which women's issues were addressed in the reports produced by the Home Office for decision makers. Her appointment to the IAGCI follows publication of the report and presentation of its findings to Committee members.

Professor Crawley said: “The quality of Country of Origin Information is crucial for deciding who is, and is not, entitled to refugee status in the UK. Without high quality information about political, social and economic conditions in the countries from which asylum seekers originate it is impossible to ascertain whether or not they will be able to be protected if they return. The IAGCI plays a vital role in monitoring the quality of research reports and is able to draw on a wide range of international experts to inform its work. I am delighted to have been appointed to the IAGCI and look forward to working with the Committee over coming years””