The UN high commissioner for refugees has complained to the Press Complaints Commission over the language used by Daily Mail and the Daily Express in their reporting of asylum.
The office of AntÃ³nio Guterres was unhappy that the papers had used the terms ‘asylum seeker’and ‘refugee’synonymously despite important legal differences between the two statuses.
An asylum seeker is defined as someone seeking protection from or persecution and is waiting for a decision, as per the 1951 Refugee Convention. They are only refugees after being granted asylum.
The complaint was resolved after both papers agree to pass a leaflet, Reporting Asylum and Refugee Issues, to reporters and sub-editors.