28 March 2012
The UK government has unilaterally extended the list of "safe" third countries to which migrants can be returned to 24. For the first time the list includes countries in Asia and Latin America - the new countries are: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
On 7 October 2002 the UK, along with other EU states, declared that the accession countries to the EU were "safe" to return migrants to, these are: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
On 6 February 2003 seven countries were added to the list: Albania, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania and Serbia + Montenegro (previously the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia).
At the EU level Afghanistan has been declared "safe" to return people by voluntary or forced repatriation.
Home Office press release, 17 June 2003: Text (link)
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