§ Lynne Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sources of in-country information about(a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq and (c) Somalia are used in contesting appeals against refusal of an application for asylum from people leaving these countries. 
§ Beverley Hughes
The main sources of in-country information for these countries are the Country Assessments and bulletins produced by the Home Office Country Information and Policy Unit. These are produced using published material from a wide variety of sources, which include non-governmental organisations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and overseas governments. Information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office may also be included.
§ Mr. Jon Owen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their application have stated that they fought for or supported the Taliban; 
(2) how many people who have stated they fought for or supported the Taliban have entered this country through the asylum system; 
(3) how many rejected asylum seekers awaiting deportation have stated that they fought for or supported the Taliban; 
(4) how many failed asylum seekers awaiting an appeal have stated that they fought for or supported the Taliban. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 27 February 2003]:: We are not in the business of offering asylum to Taliban terrorists or anybody else who poses a security risk to our country.
All cases where a Taliban connection is claimed are referred to a Senior Caseworker to decide whether exclusion from the protection of the Refugee Convention is appropriate and for further security checks if appropriate. No evidence has been found that anyone who has willingly supported and fought for the Taliban has been granted asylum, and no other cases have arisen that have merited security action.
§ Mr. Mullin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department after what period benefit payments are stopped in respect of asylum seekers who are refused asylum. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 3 March 2003]:: An asylum seeker without children under the age of 18 remains eligible for asylum support from the Secretary of State under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, subject to meeting the other criteria for eligibility, until the claim for asylum is determined. The time when a claim for asylum is treated as determined for this purpose varies depending on the type of case pursuant to regulations 2 and 2A of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. Where the claim for asylum is 959W rejected, the claim for asylum is treated as determined 21 days after receipt of the decision refusing asylum or, if the person appeals, 21 days after the disposal of the appeal. However, where the asylum claim is rejected but the person is at the same time given exceptional leave to enter or remain, or where the asylum claim is rejected initially but the person successfully appeals against refusal of asylum, the claim for asylum is treated as determined 28 days after receipt of the decision, respectively the disposal of the appeal.
In the case of an asylum seeker whose claim is rejected but whose household includes a child under the age of 18, while the child remains under 18 and the asylum seeker and the child remain in the United Kingdom, unless they are granted leave to enter or remain, they will be eligible for asylum support under Part VI of the 1999 Act, subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria, until they leave the United Kingdom.