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State of the migrant third sector

Author[s] Leeds Migration Partnership

Date 2014

Summary

Aims

The aim was to provide an evidence base to better inform and influence the strategic agenda of migrant third sector organisations in Leeds, through a collective articulation of the key facts about migrants in the city and the experiences of organisations working with them.

 

The main objective was to document the health of third sector organisations working with migrants in the city of Leeds and to promote awareness of the key issues facing them in the current climate.

 

Within this broad objective, secondary objectives were to provide a demographic context to migrant communities in Leeds, to map the number of third sector organisations providing services to them, to gather qualitative and quantitative data on their current status, and identify the key issues for the cohort as a whole. It was intended as a supplement to the Leeds Migration Partnership report.



Methodology

The information contained within the report was derived from two methodologies. The first provides a demographic analysis of migrant communities in Leeds through demographic sources such as the 2011 Census data on ethnicity, country of birth, language and identity as well as geographical location within the Leeds conurbation.

 

The authors surveyed 40+ organisations in the Leeds area which were listed on a Leeds City Council database as working directly with migrants. The survey was carried out using a paper based questionnaire, which asked recipients about issues such as:

 


Respondents were asked to provide information on their status now, and in the last 5 years. The authors received 19 completed questionnaires. This process was complemented by desktop research on a larger cohort of 122 organisations with similar remits in the city. Their details were sourced from the same Leeds City Council database.

 

The survey and desktop research was carried out during October 2013.
 



Key issues

The analysis of the migrant population [section A] highlights that, like many other major cities in the UK, Leeds is experiencing rapid demographic change, partly driven by immigration. Using Census data, it shows that in the decade 2001-11, the number of residents born outside the UK nearly doubled, with the largest increase from Poland, although Pakistan remains the largest group numerically.

 

The assessment of the migrant third sector in Leeds [section B] concludes it is under significant pressure, due to major funding cuts from public sector sources and a notable decline in donations and fundraising, with funding applications subject to greater scrutiny and competition. This poses a serious risk to the majority of organisations – only 15% surveyed said they had financial security beyond April 2015.

 

Survey respondents noted that demand for support and assistance from migrants is increasing on third sector organisations, particularly in areas such as employability and skills.

 

The report identified a number of critical gaps in support. These were centred on advice, support and advocacy [including legal]; destitution; employment and skills; English language and interpreting/translation provision; health and mental health; housing and sector support. However, it also highlights the impact of changes to long term contracts, with national programmes ceasing, being re-commissioned for less, or mainstreamed.



Conclusions

The report concludes that significant gaps in services are likely to occur from December 2013 and may be critical by early 2015 as a direct result of reduced funding. This may include insufficient face to face advice services for particularly vulnerable migrants.



Further details

Resource type report

Web link to the research
State of the migrant third sector [link to external website]





Accession 8 migration and the proactive and defensive engagement of social citizenship

Author[s] Cook, Joanne; Dwyer, Peter and Waite, Louise

Date 2012

Summary

Aims

The paper aims to shed some light on the impact of A8 migration on employment opportunities and housing provision in the inner-city communities that are host to many new migrant groups.



Methodology

The qualitative data presented in this paper was generated in a study concerned with the needs, perceptions and experiences of A8 migrants and established communities in a northern English city. The study used purposive sampling to recruit 89 respondents. A8 migrants and established community members were recruited through contacts with local community centres. In total, 11 focus groups [6-9 respondents each], and 10 semi-structured interviews with key informants [for example recruitment agencies, employers, community support workers] were conducted. Three focus groups with A8 migrants [Polish men, Polish women and Slovak mixed gender]; one focus group with Roma migrants; 4 parallel focus groups with members of established West Indian, Pakistani and ‘white’ host communities in neighbourhoods that had experienced significant numbers of recent A8 migrants; and 3 focus groups with agencies involved in the provision and/or administration of local public services, [for example City Council, primary care trusts, housing providers and schools] were conducted.



Key issues
The paper explores the ways in which established communities experience and make sense of the local impact of new migration within their neighbourhoods. The belief that newly arrived migrants are in competition with established communities for local jobs and welfare resources remains a central issue for established communities, most of whom assume A8 migration to have a negative impact. The report identifies 'proactive and defensive citizenship engagement' among A8 migrants and the established communities.

Conclusions
The paper highlights that established communities' concerns, rather than being simply an expression of intolerance, have their basis in how the expansion of the EU facilitates opportunities for the 'proactive engagement' of citizenship status among A8 migrants, whilst often triggering a more 'defensive engagement' among members of local host communities. Overall, it is argued that A8 migration brought substantial economic gains as well as significant challenges to local communities.

Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Journal of Social Policy
Published by Cambridge University Press


Volume 41, 2: 329-347

Web link to the research
Details of how to get hold of this report are available from this external web page





'Good relations' among neighbours and workmates? The everyday encounters of Accession 8 migrants and established communities in urban England

Author[s] Cook, Joanne; Dwyer, Peter and Waite, Louise

Date 2011

Summary

Aims

The study aims to explore how new temporary and circular migration trends influence the experiences and interactions that occur between new Accession 8 [A8] migrants and host communities. The research looks at whether everyday encounters in both neighbourhood and work spaces serve to enhance or inhibit the building of ‘good relations’ between established communities and newly resident A8 migrants in a multicultural city in northern England.



Methodology

The research was conducted in Leeds. In total, 89 people participated in the fieldwork. A series of focus groups and family interviews were held with members of 3, newly resident, A8 migrant groups. Participants were drawn from Polish, Slovak and Slovak Roma communities. Eight key informants who recruited, employed or acted as community support workers for A8 migrants were also interviewed. Additionally, 4 parallel focus groups were convened with members of the established West Indian, Pakistani and ‘white’ host communities in neighbourhoods that had recently experienced the arrival of significant numbers of A8 migrants. Finally, 3 focus groups were held with agencies involved in the provision and/or administration of local public services, for example, City Council services, primary care trusts, housing providers and schools.



Key issues

The article looks at the intercultural exchange between A8 migrants and established community members. It highlights the evident lack of meaningful engagement between established communities and A8 migrants, which generally failed to produce constructive or generative interactions between the two groups.



Conclusions

The study found that the common spaces of neighbourhood and work shared by many A8 migrants and established community members facilitated everyday encounters that ranged from negative experiences and absences of interaction through to more active spatial strategies of withdrawal from mixing with members of ‘other’ communities. The research showed that the everyday encounters between the established communities and A8 migrants did not open up spaces for meaningful engagement that were capable of breaking down stereotypes and barriers to integration.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal

Population Space and Place


Published by Wiley Online Library

Volume 17, 727-741

Web link to the research
Details of how to access this report are available on this external web page





The Experiences of Accession 8 migrants in England: motivations, work and agency

Author[s] Cook, Joanne; Dwyer, Peter and Waite, Louise

Date 2011

Summary

Aims

The study looks at motivations and experiences of Accession 8 [A8] migrants. This paper questions the usefulness of the homogenising category ‘A8 migrant worker’ as a tool for understanding the diverse experiences of migrants from Central and Eastern Europe who have recently come to live and work in the United Kingdom.



Methodology

This qualitative study was carried out in March 2008 in Leeds. In total, 89 people took part in the research. The fieldwork consisted of:

 



Key issues

The study highlights a number of commonalities among A8 migrants, however it also implies heterogeneity within the group often categorised simply as new A8 migrant workers. Diversity within this group is apparent in respect of 3 particular aspects: the motivations and forms of movement undertaken by A8 migrants; their experiences of work within the UK paid labour market; and the extent to which the experience of migration offers new individual and collective opportunities and potentially enables people to reconfigure aspects of their identity.



Conclusions

The report points out that temporary, circular and/or transitory labour migrants remain an important element of the latest phase of new European migration; however it is increasingly problematic to discuss A8 migration in such a stereotypical manner. The report includes some positive and negative consequences of migration from the migrants’ point of view.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal

International Migration


Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd


Volume 49, 2: 54-79

Web link to the research
Details of how to get hold of this report are available from this external web page





Music, dancing and clothing as belonging and freedom among people seeking asylum in the UK

Author[s] Lewis, Hannah

Date 2011

Summary

Aims

To argue that clothing, music, and dancing embody experiences both of migration, exile and separation and of familiarity, homeliness and unity. Doctoral research.



Methodology

Fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork between August 2003 and September 2004 with people from 11 different countries who were, or had been, accommodated in Leeds. The research employed participant observation. Relationships with individuals were built-up in visits to their homes, and subsequently with their associates and through engaging with the activities of refugee community organisations [RCOs] and other refugee supporting agencies. Access was facilitated by 2 volunteer roles that led to extended relationships with participants following discussion of informed consent. Fourteen men and women [7 refugees and 7 refused asylum seekers] were key participants and further contacts led to a larger group of 40 participants, including RCO representatives and practitioners. Key participants ranged from 17 years old to mid to late 30s and their children ranged from babies to teenagers.



Key issues

Leisure practices of refugee and asylum seeking communities.



Conclusions

Music, clothing and dancing can be important to processes of settlement and negotiation of belonging. They signal a space that announces the creation of a moment, that is, ‘a community moment’, when people who consider themselves within the boundary can be ‘insiders’ in contrast to daily experiences of being an outsider. Dancing may provide a way of embodying home, and of gaining freedom that is particularly important for refugees who are likely to come without material goods but do travel with their bodily praxis.



Further details

Resource type book section

Book Identities, cultures and voices in leisure, sport and tourism. LSA volume no 116

Published by Leisure Studies Association, Brighton

Web link to the research
Details of how to get hold of this report are available from this external web page





Space for inclusion? The construction of sport and leisure spaces as places for migrant communities

Author[s] Long, Jonathan; Hylton, Kevin; Lewis, Hannah; Ratna, Aarti and Spracklen, Karl

Date 2011

Summary

Aims
The paper explores how sport and leisure spaces are perceived by new migrants and how those interpretations may vary with time and processes of social change.

Methodology
A review of literature on sport and leisure spaces and related processes of social inclusion and exclusion.

Key issues
Inclusion and exclusion of migrant communities in sport and leisure spaces.

Conclusions
An understanding of how sport and leisure spaces affect people's experience and also how they construct those spaces is necessary to inform policies and practices that could promote the development of mutual and shared spaces rather than disconnected multiple occupations of spaces.

Further details

Resource type book section

Book Community and Inclusion in Leisure Research and Sport Development

Published by Leisure Studies Association

Web link to the research
Space for inclusion? The construction of sport and leisure spaces as places for migrant communities [link to external website]





Where now for justice? Legal Aid in West Yorkshire

Author[s] Ray, Laurie

Date 2011

Summary

Aims

This briefing paper [Number 14] forms part of a series produced by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]. This paper provides an overview of the access to legal aid for refused asylum seekers.



Methodology

The content of the paper is derived from interviews or conversations with people who use the PAFRAS drop-in centre based in Leeds, United Kingdom, as well as case law and published literature in this field.



Key issues

Since their implementation Legal Aid reforms have placed pressure on providers to reduce their costs at the expense of the quality of work they do. The setting of a fixed fee at a low level and concentrating the available work in fewer organisations, resulting in the reduction of the number of law firms offering this service, particularly in Leeds, will have implications for asylum seekers’ access to justice.



Conclusions

The paper suggests that the recent reforms of the provision of Legal Aid have resulted in some firms with a great deal of experience of this work no longer providing this service, while new untested firms entering the market is a cause for concern. This suggests that the quality of the advice provided is now less important. The paper concludes that the recent reforms in this area and potential challenges in the future only serve to add further disruption and confusion for asylum seekers.



Further details

Resource type working paper





Community moments: integration and transnationalism at 'refugee' parties and events

Author[s] Lewis, Hannah

Date 2010

Summary

Aims
The article examines events and parties in relation to understandings of integration and community among people who were dispersed to Leeds, United Kingdom under the asylum support system. It is based on doctoral research that aimed to investigate 'community' among refugees and asylum seekers following compulsory dispersal, beyond a sole focus on formal refugee community organisations.

Methodology
The ethnographic research [participant observation] took place across a 14 month period during 2003-4 in Leeds. There were 14 key participants [originating from 11 different countries; 7 refugees and 7 refused asylum seekers] and 40 more participants including refugees and people working for refugee services. The ages of the key participants ranged from 17 to late-thirties and their children from babies to teenagers. Field notes recorded research interactions, sometimes augmented with written interviews and visual mapping of social relationships. Access was initially facilitated by volunteering in two different roles for refugee projects that led to extended relationships with participants. Relationships with individuals were built up in visits to their houses and engaging in daily activities, and subsequently with their associates and through taking part in activities of refugee community organisations, other refugee supporting agencies, and in attending music events and parties.

Key issues
Parties create 'community moments' through a sense of unity around central, familiar cultural symbols. These 'community' events include some and deter others.

Conclusions
Parties do not simplistically reproduce either 'home' or 'UK' cultural forms and should not be strictly categorised as relating to 'there' or 'here'. Such nuanced approaches to identity and settlement contrast with the common construction of ethnic groups in policy and discourse as cohesive and different. Parties and music events contain elements both of homely familiarity and strange novelty. Their ambiguous nature provides a contested domain of new community formation, integration, and adaptation.

Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Journal of Refugee Studies
Published by Oxford University Press


Volume 23, 4: 571-588

Web link to the research
Details of how to get hold of this report are available from this external web page





Include us: strengthening communication and involvement of asylum seeking and refugee parents in high school education in Leeds

Author[s] Pugh, Nola

Date 2010

Summary

Aims

The study looks at the experiences of communication between refugee and asylum seeking parents and high school staff in Leeds to highlight areas of good practice and also identify learning points to inform and strengthen future practices.



Methodology

The study was carried out over a three month period and formed part of the Children’s Society Leading Edge Initiative at the LEAP Programme, Leeds. A total of 16 parents/carers and 20 school staff, linked to 14 schools in Leeds, took part in the study. The parents/carers involved in the study had all arrived in the UK between 2006 and 2009 and were from a range of nationalities. The data was gathered using qualitative face to face interviews with parents [using professionally trained face to face interpreters where appropriate], and semi structured questionnaires to school staff.



Key issues

The report looks at five key areas:



The report includes testimonies from parents and school staff, examples of good practice. It also identifies learning points for each of the five areas.



Recommendations

The report highlights ten practical recommendations to improve and strengthen practice in the future, including suggestions around information provision for parents, support, the induction process, inclusion, engagement and training for school staff.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by The Children's Society LEAP Programme





Beyond the edges of healthcare provision: the impact of destitution on the health of refused asylum seekers

Author[s] Ray, Laurie

Date 2010

Summary

Aims

This briefing paper [Number 13] forms part of a series produced by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]. This paper provides an update of the briefing paper number 11 [Beyond the edges of healthcare provision: refused asylum seekers and access to healthcare].



Methodology

The content of the paper is derived from interviews or conversations with people who use the PAFRAS drop-in centre based in Leeds, United Kingdom, and includes a survey of 63 service users.



Key issues

Since 2004 irregular migrant and refused asylum seekers can be charged for secondary treatment unless the care required was deemed ‘urgent’ and ‘immediately necessary’ by a clinician. The charging regime resulted in many cases of people being refused treatment with long term implications for their health. In 2008 a High Court ruling effectively allowed free secondary care to all refused asylum seekers who had been resident in the UK for at least 12 months, although this was later overturned by a Court of Appeal ruling in 2009. In 2010 the Department of Health launched a consultation on new charging regulations and guidance. However, lack of clarity is still seen as a significant problem but responsibility for its implementation lies with all NHS staff. Many refused asylum seekers put off seeking medical attention until they are much more seriously ill.



Conclusions

The paper suggests that the proposal for making all NHS staff responsible for ensuring that the charging regime works places greater pressure on clinicians to conform to the policy which could lead to a worsening situation for refused asylum seekers in coming years.



Further details

Resource type working paper

Contact
Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]





The mothers in exile project: women asylum seekers' and refugees' experiences of pregnancy and childbirth in Leeds

Author[s] Waugh, Megan

Date 2010

Summary

Aims

The project looked at the antenatal, birth and post natal experiences of asylum seeking and refugee women in Leeds to identify gaps in current service provision and examine how immigration status affected their access to services to help shape future policy. The project was commissioned by Womens Health Matters, and funded by NHS Leeds Children’s and Maternity Services and Leeds Special Grants Programme, in response to issues raised by the Leeds Maternity Health Needs Assessment 07/08 – 08/09 and a report for the Maternity Services Liaison Committee. It is aimed at both service providers and policy makers.



Methodology

In depth, semi structured interviews were carried out in 2009 with 20 women aged between 16 and 43 who lived in Leeds. In total, 24 births were discussed. The majority of women originated from African countries with the remainder coming from China, Iraq, Syria and Palestine.
 

The women were contacted through a number of different organisations and individuals to ensure as wide a range of experiences as possible. However, it is noted that, as the majority of the women were contacted through support organisations, this may have skewed the findings resulting in the number of women who received additional support during their pregnancies being disproportionately high.


The appendices to the full report give examples of the information given to the women ahead of the interviews and details of the interview questions.



Key issues

The report looks at the impact of the current asylum system on pregnant women seeking refuge in this country. It also examines what happens when these women become part of the maternity system, in particular ante natal care, experiences during labour, post natal care and interpreting and communication issues throughout.


Key issues highlighted include:



In addition, some women were moved to different accommodation several times during their pregnancy [due to change in asylum status etc] and this had a detrimental effect on healthcare provision and support networks which increases the risk to mother and baby.


There are some areas of positive practice highlighted in the report, in particular midwives working out of SureStart Children’s Centres and doulas/befrienders arranged through the voluntary/community sector.  



Recommendations

The report offers a number of recommendations for individuals and agencies in contact with pregnant asylum seeking and refugee women. These include recommendations relating to the provision of specialist care for asylum seekers and refugees, training for health professionals, community and hospital practice and interpreting services.



Further details

Resource type report

Web link to the research
The mothers in exile project: women asylum seekers' and refugees' experiences of pregnancy and childbirth in Leeds [link to Word document on external website]

Extra information

Full report and summary available in pdf format.





Forced inactivity and barriers to participation among refused asylum seekers

Author[s] Burnett, Jon and Chebe, Fidelis

Date 2009

Summary

Aims

This briefing paper [Number 12] forms part of a series produced by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]. This paper focuses on the ‘deskilling’ of refused asylum seekers.



Methodology

The content of the paper is derived from interviews or conversations with people who use the PAFRAS drop-in centre based in Leeds, United Kingdom, as well as a questionnaire given to 32 refused asylum seekers asking about their skills and qualifications.



Key issues

The paper reports that the ability of refused asylum seekers to engage in wider society is prevented: work remains unavailable and education opportunities are generally denied. Section 4 support is conditional on participating in community activities, however, involvement in volunteering could result in them being issued with removal directions. Periods of lack of employment can lead to deskilling which in turn can have implications for the mental health and well-being and hinders their longer term prospects when, and if, they are later given leave to remain and enabled to work.



Conclusions

The paper suggests that the range of barriers in place to deny failed asylum seekers to employment, education or volunteering denies this group access to any form of social engagement which is seen as a part of a wider government framework which ultimately forces people to leave the country.



Further details

Resource type working paper

Web link to the research
Forced inactivity and barriers to participation among refused asylum seekers [link to external website]

Contact
Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]





No direction home. PAFRAS briefing paper number 8

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2009

Summary

Aims

This briefing on returns is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis and data from interviews with people who use the PAFRAS [Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper discusses the contradiction between the designation of countries as unsafe for return and the level of support for those who cannot therefore be returned with reference to the cases of Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The emphasis on return to dangerous countries is critiqued in relation to foreign policy concerns and problems of the mechanisms of return outlined.



Conclusions

The human rights of people who have sought asylum seem low in a range of concerns that affect removal policies.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds

Web link to the research
No direction home. PAFRAS briefing paper number 8 - PDF on the Statewatch website
[link to PDF document on external website]





What is destitution? PAFRAS briefing paper number 9

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2009

Summary

Aims

This briefing on access to legal aid is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis and data from interviews with people who use the PAFRAS [Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper discusses the implementation of destitution in the asylum system; the apparent escalation of destitution using statistics from the PAFRAS drop-in; institutionalised poverty; the features of destitution and the political framework of destitution.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds

Web link to the research
What is destitution? PAFRAS briefing paper number 9 - PDF on the Researchgate website
[link to PDF document on external website]





Beyond the edges of healthcare provision: refused asylum seekers and access to healthcare

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2009

Summary

Aims

This briefing paper [Number 11] forms part of a series produced by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]. This paper focuses on the provision of medical assistance in the form of primary care access, available to refused asylum seekers.



Methodology
The content of the paper is derived from interviews or conversations with people who use the PAFRAS drop-in centre based in Leeds, United Kingdom.

Key issues

The paper reports that asylum seekers have particular health care needs associated with their experience and having to flee persecution. Refused asylum seekers, compared to those waiting for a decision on their asylum claim, in receipt of Section 4 support or refugees, were the least likely to be registered with either a GP or a dentist. Those who have been refused asylum are often reluctant to approach health facilities for fear of deportation, they are unfamiliar with the British welfare system and the nuances of health care provision and often assume that all NHS care has been withdrawn from them. Evidence also shows that some experience racism from their GPs. Similar issues apply equally to access to a dentist.



Conclusions
The paper concludes that government policy in terms of the low level of access to primary health care and the denial of particular forms of secondary NHS care, confines refused asylum seekers to the periphery of healthcare provision. The report suggests that what currently exists is a two-tier system of healthcare.

Further details

Resource type working paper

Contact
Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]






The political economy of malnutrition

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2009

Summary

Aims
This briefing paper [Number 10] forms part of a series produced by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]. This paper focuses on the levels of malnutrition and food poverty to which refused asylum seekers are exposed.

Methodology
The content of the paper is derived from interviews or conversations with people who use the PAFRAS drop-in centre based in Leeds, United Kingdom.

Key issues
The paper notes that destitution is institutionalised by the asylum system with inadequate food consumption occurring in conjunction with homelessness and acute vulnerability. Without ready access to food and no legal way of earning money many asylum seekers in the UK experience starvation and where food is available it is often of poor nutritional value. This can contribute to severe physical and mental health problems.

Conclusions
The paper concludes that government has created a framework of destitution through a series of policy choices and that malnutrition is used as part of a conscious strategy to make life as difficult as possible for those who are too afraid to leave the country.

Further details

Resource type working paper

Web link to the research
The political economy of malnutrition [link to external website]

Contact
Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS]





Still destitute: a worsening problem for refused asylum seekers

Author[s] Lewis, Hannah

Date 2009

Summary

Aims

This is a report of findings from the 2009 destitution survey in Leeds which aims to underline the continuing needs of destitute asylum seekers and to provide data for those who seek to change government policy.



Methodology

A four week survey of destitute clients approaching four agencies in Leeds and 13 interviews with representatives from refugee agencies and statutory providers and interviews with representatives of four refugee community organisations.



Key issues

High levels of destitution continue to be a problem among asylum seekers in Leeds. The number of visits to four agencies increased. Destitution happens at all stages of the asylum process; most of those surveyed were refused asylum seekers. Administrative delays worsen destitution. The number of people destitute after being processed by the New Asylum Model increased. Entitlement to apply for support does not mean entitlement to receive support. Families and children are destitute, many for one or two years or more. Destitution is serious and prolonged: there was an increase in instances in rough sleeping and many individuals had been destitute for a year or more. Most came from just four countries [Zimbabwe, Iran, Eritrea and Iraq] were there is ongoing conflict and unrest. Voluntary, charity and faith resources are pushed to the limit - restricted resources forced two projects to temporarily close in 2009. Incidents of aggression and violence caused by increasing levels of desperation from prolonged and worsening destitution have become increasingly commonplace for frontline staff.



Conclusions

Destitution is linked to country of origin: people most likely to have difficulty in arranging return are most likely to be destitute for extended periods. Long-term destitution causes frustration and worsening health and mental health symptoms. Voluntary, charity and faith resources to support destitute people are at breaking point.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed at the government and statutory bodies working with asylum seekers. End the destitution of asylum seekers and refugees at all stages of the asylum process. Give asylum seekers the right to work. Overhaul the whole system: efforts to improve the existing system have not worked. Create an arms-length body to make asylum decisions. Grant temporary leave to remain to people who cannot return through no fault of their own. Abolish Section 4 support, make continuation of support automatic on refusal of an asylum claim. The local authority and refugee supporting agencies should share information and practice to safeguard families and children from destitution. Allow religious, social networks and family to be recognised as meaningful connections for refugees in need of housing.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, York





Older refugees in the UK. A literature review and interviews with refugees

Author[s] Age Concern and Refugee Council

Date 2008

Summary

Methodology

This working paper combines a literature review and analysis of interviews with 20 older refugees undertaken August to September 2006, including 5 in Yorkshire and Humber.



Key issues

The literature review looks at definitions of 'older' and 'refugee' and what is known about the demographics of the refugee population in the UK. It then assesses older refugees in terms of policy and service provision areas [law, health, housing, education and training, employment, and information]. The importance of family and community networks to older refugees is discussed and gaps in knowledge and possible research areas and questions listed. The findings from interviews with older refugees provided data on age and integration, extra care and support, accessing health and other public services, group and community involvement, education, employment, volunteering and income.



Conclusions

Asylum seeker interviews were more likely to be suffering poor health, anxiety, hardship and despair than refugees.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Age Concern and Refugee Council, London





Exploring the cultural transformation of Ethiopian and Ethiopian-Eritrean communities in Leeds, UK

Author[s] Bekalo, Samuel

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To provide cultural and political context to Ethiopian and Eritrean backgrounds and to explore the oral history of Ethiopians and Eritreans settling in the UK.



Methodology

Data was gathered through face-to-face interviews with 40 Ethiopians and Eritreans; focus groups that included 150 people; and notes from the researcher's diary notes that span 10 years of working with Ethiopians and Eritreans.



Key issues

The report, in two parts, provides first a summary of Ethiopian and Eritrean culture and political backgrounds and second, highlights the experience of Ethiopians and Eritreans settling in the UK. Findings on settling in the UK cover reasons for coming and settling in the UK and Leeds; challenges; coping mechanisms and overcoming the challenges of migration; the impact of migration on the retention and practice of cultural traditions; and the community's contribution and impact on Leeds. Ethiopians and Eritreans came to Leeds for various reason, mostly as refugees. The asylum process is one of the most challenging aspects of the struggle to settle in the UK, along with language and cultural barriers, mental health; barriers to employment; shifting gender roles; cultural shock; and acclimatisation. Faith and community group support can assist with overcoming the challenges of settling; cultural traditions and education and training are also important. The report also presents future implications for Ethiopians and Eritreans.



Conclusions

The Ethiopian and Eritrean community in Leeds is arguably one of the most vibrant refugee community groups outside London, and is keen to continue to contribute to the ever-evolving multicultural landscape.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Leeds Ethiopian Community, Leeds





More destitution in Leeds: repeat survey of destitute asylum seekers and refugees approaching local agencies for support

Author[s] Brown, David

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

This study reports on a second survey of destitute asylum seekers and refugees approaching local agencies and aims to explore changes in numbers, patterns of destitution and consequences for service provision.



Methodology

A four week survey April - May 2008 of destitute clients was carried out by five agencies. Six interviews were held with managers of statutory and voluntary agencies.



Key issues

The survey suggested that destitution had substantially increased. Visits to support agencies more than doubled. The survey indicated a chronic problem of destitution including people destitute for one year or more. Those surveyed came from 35 countries: the largest groups were Zimbabwe, Iran and Eritrea. There was a significant increase in children made destitute and in rough sleeping. There was an increase in those made destitute after having their claim processed under the New Asylum Model.



Conclusions

The majority recorded as destitute were refused asylum seekers, although destitution can occur at all stages of the asylum process. Many people are entitled to support but are destitute because of procedural failures such as administrative errors, waiting for support to begin, and a lack of interim support measures following change of status on resolution of their asylum claim.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed primarily at the United Kingdom Border Agency [UKBA] in the government, as well as Social Services, local government and charitable trusts. UKBA should improve the process for applying for Section 4 support; improve procedures for people leaving detention; lengthen the NAM process to enable people to build connections; grant temporary leave to remain, particularly in cases where removal is difficult; and provide regular regional statistics on refusals and removals. Social Services with UKBA should implement procedures to ensure no child is refused support. Resources should be provided to struggling local agencies.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, York





Mental health, destitution and asylum. PAFRAS briefing paper number 5

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

This briefing on mental health is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis, results of a mental health survey of destitute clients undertaken by agencies in Leeds and data from interviews with people who use the PAFRAS [Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper describes the links between mental health, destitution and the asylum system. Asylum seekers are likely to have pre-existing mental health concerns before they arrive in the UK. Furthermore, destitution in the UK creates mental health problems. Destitution makes effective treatment difficult.



Conclusions

Government plans to withdraw access to healthcare for 'failed' asylum seekers would make problems associated with mental health and destitution worse.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds

Web link to the research
Mental health, destitution and asylum. PAFRAS briefing paper number 5 - PDF on the Statewatch website
[link to PDF document on external website]





Dawn raids. PAFRAS briefing number 4

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

This briefing on dawn raids is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis and data from interviews with people who use the PAFRAS [Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper describes the use of dawn raids as part of enforcement policies to secure removals. Data is difficult to gain as people may be fearful, unwilling to relive traumatic events, or have been forcibly removed. Dawn raids are identified as a consequence of pressure to meet targets on removal, and questions of accountability are discussed.



Conclusions

Dawn raids seem set to continue or increase despite evidence of the suffering and harm they cause.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds

Web link to the research
Dawn raids. PAFRAS briefing number 4 - PDF on the Statewatch website
[link to PDF document on external website]





No access to justice: Legal Aid and destitute asylum seekers. PAFRAS briefing paper number 3

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

This briefing on access to legal aid is part of a series that provide concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis and data from interviews with people who use the PAFRAS [Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper describes the reduction in Legal Aid in 2004 and the consequences of this for destitute asylum seekers in accessing legal assistance with their claim. Destitution is identified as making it more difficult for people to access help, and more vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous advisors.



Conclusions

Many asylum seekers have suggested that they have received inadequate legal representation, often leading to the curtailment of appeal rights.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds





Racism, destitution and asylum. PAFRAS briefing paper number 6

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

This briefing on racism is part of a series that provide concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis, results from a survey on racial harassment with 20 service users and data from interviews PAFRAS [Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers] drop-in users.



Key issues

The paper discusses the issue of racist victimisation, provides some figures, and discusses under-recording of harassment. Respondents had experienced racist victimisation from the public, the police, immigration officers, and staff at immigration removal centres.



Conclusions

Popular racism requires analysis in a context of institutional racism.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds





Wage exploitation and undocumented labour. PAFRAS briefing paper number 7

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

This briefing on labour is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

The paper uses data from interviews with 15 people seeking asylum conducted for a study of undocumented working undertaken conjunction with Dave Whyte, University of Liverpool.



Key issues

The paper focuses on the routine financial exploitation of undocumented workers. The asylum system criminalises labour. The increase in enforcement related to illegal working is discussed in relation to labour market needs. Destitution provides a disposable, exploitable labour force, leaving people vulnerable to wage slavery.



Conclusions

Increasing criminalisation of undocumented workers creates greater vulnerability that can be used by employers to further exploit and marginalise.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds





The development needs of refugee communities in Leeds Bradford and South Yorkshire

Author[s] Choksi, Archana; Berenjian, Marzieh; Chirwa, Hlabera and Nakuti, Dorine

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To generate information about the current roles played by refugee community organisations [RCOs] in Yorkshire and Humber; to understand their current capacity; and to investigate their understandings, expectations and roles as the sector becomes more professionalised in its approach to policy influencing.



Methodology

The research team, who were refugees and / or members of RCOs or known to interviewees, interviewed 36 RCOs: 11 in Leeds, 11 in Bradford and 14 in South Yorkshire, using a semi-structured questionnaire. The report presents a thematic qualitative analysis of findings and descriptive statistics from the interviews.



Key issues

The report maps RCOs in the region, their number, date of establishment, key client group demography, infrastructure, organisational capacity, funding and main roles. It is pointed out that there is considerable research fatigue among RCO members. The role of RCOs in integration and the role of Refugee Forums are discussed, and suggestions made for strategic ways forward.



Conclusions

The RCO sector in Yorkshire and Humber can be characterised as consisting of a very small number of established RCOs surrounded by a periphery of volatile, semi-secure and insecure organisations, all of which find themselves in competition for shrinking financial support. RCO work is focused on destitution, leaving few resources for supporting educational, health, employment and benefit needs.



Recommendations

Recommendations are directed at RCOs, Refugee Forums and those supporting them and relate to support, organisational strengthening, and bridging with the wider society.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Jantela, Leeds





New migrant communities in Leeds

Author[s] Cook, Joanne; Dwyer, Peter and Waite, Louise

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

The research was commissioned by Leeds City Council to gather information on the experiences and needs of A8 migrants, the implications for services and the impact upon Leeds communities.



Methodology

The study, conducted between January and February 2008, combined a literature / policy review, 10 individual key informant interviews and focus groups and semi-structured interviews with 34 newly arrived A8 migrants, 24 members of established communities and 21 service providers.



Key issues

The report presents and discusses findings on migration patterns, work, neighbourhood and community relations, and welfare service provision. The primary motivation for A8 migration was to access work, though Roma may be escaping persecution, and varying periods of settlement, increasing numbers of family joiners and couples mean it is difficult to identify a 'typical' A8 migrant. New A8 migrant workers were filling labour shortages; there is some evidence of an employment hierarchy with Polish workers enjoying a relatively advantaged position. There were some examples of positive mixing between A8 migrant communities and more established communities, but A8 migrants also related experiences of harassment and prejudice. A8 migrants may have had some impact on welfare service provision, but this varies across sectors with little impact on social housing.



Recommendations

The report offers recommendations, primarily aimed at the local authority and public services. These include improving data collection, assessing funding for maternity services and schools, funding for translation and establishing partnerships with employers to develop English language training, creating shared spaces for greater interaction, and mythbusting exercises.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Leeds City Council, Leeds

Web link to the research
New migrant communities in Leeds - PDF on Salford University website
[link to PDF document on external website]





The impacts of new A8 migration in Leeds

Author[s] Cook, Joanne; Dwyer, Peter and Waite, Louise

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To gather information on the experiences and needs of A8 migrants, the implications for service provision and the impact upon Leeds communities; and to provide recommendations to service providers.



Methodology

A qualitative study in Leeds January-February 2008 that undertook semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 89 participants including Polish, Slovak, Roma and white, Pakistani and West Indian residents; key informants from employers, employment agencies, trade unions and community workers; and service providers.



Key issues

The article summarises findings from the research on migration patterns, work, neighbourhood and community relations and welfare service provision. The key motivation for migration to the UK was the desire to work, and for Roma migrants, a chance to escape persecution and discrimination. The population of migrants is diverse in length of stay and type of migrant which include single males, couples and families. Employers reported that new migrant workers were taking up previously unfilled vacancies and believed it would be problematic if A8 migration ceased. Some evidence of employment hierarchies among migrants was found. Some participants were positive about new migrant workers; others had concerns related to jobs and welfare resources that should be addressed by opening opportunities for interaction. All groups had experienced prejudice and harassment. Impact on welfare services of new migrant workers varied across sectors.



Conclusions

The unexpected arrival of significant numbers of A8 migrants presented local authorities with new challenges, increased the numbers of migrant workers and increased diversity of the migrant population. Impacts are likely to be felt most keenly in particular, local communities that are often relatively disadvantaged.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed at the local authority, education and health services, and national policy, and cover issues including gaps in data collection, gaps in resources for education and maternity services; translation and interpreting services, developing good community relations by addressing tensions and creating spaces for interaction, and taking action on reports from A8 migrants of harassment and prejudice.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Review

Volume 18, 2: 8-10





Local press, dispersal and community in the construction of asylum debates

Author[s] Finney, Nissa and Robinson, Vaughan

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To explore local manifestations of the asylum debate with particular attention to the dynamics between the local press and constructions of community.



Methodology

The paper analyses local press coverage of dispersal in two case study locations, Cardiff and Leeds. Local press coverage is taken from the period January 1999 to July 2001.



Key issues

The article shows how asylum is framed and constructed differently by the local press in different places with implications for reactions to asylum seekers and community cohesion. The relations between local press and community are explored as explanations for varying discourses. It is found that the way the local press represents and constructs local identity within local networks of power and information shapes the extent to which established discourses can be challenged. For Cardiff, the localising of asylum through the dispersal policy created an opportunity for local negotiation of difference in the context of the national moral panic on asylum.



Conclusions

The case studies offer very different examples, one that reinforces stereotypes and one that challenges them. The approach taken has implications for the success of dispersal policies and for community cohesion.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Social and Cultural Geography

Volume 9, 4: 397-413





Women asylum seekers and refugees: opportunities, constraints and the role of agency

Author[s] Hunt, Lisa

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To explore the practical constraints and opportunities that women asylum seekers and refugees face in the host society with a focus on their actions and strategies.



Methodology

The research, carried out between 2002 and 2005 involved 42 semi-structured in depth interviews - 21 with women asylum seekers and refugees from 11 countries aged between 18 and 55; and 21 with key informants from statutory and voluntary organisations across Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield. Informal meetings and observation was also undertaken at two support groups for women.



Key issues

The article reviews studies of women in exile and describes the methodological approach and issues of sampling and access. Findings are presented on the women's experiences of loss of status, inappropriate dispersal, and the role of agency. The limitations of lack of access to employment are discussed. The research shows that women at different stages of the asylum process had different needs; and that they are united by a determination to overcome negative experiences [in their country of origin and in the UK], and by pragmatism and creativity in moving forward with their lives.



Conclusions

People seek out opportunities as 'creative' agents and their actions can change the context for future arrivals.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Social Policy and Society

Volume 7, 3: 281-292





Leeds

Author[s] Refugee Support

Date 2008

Summary

Aims
This locality study was part of the research undertaken by Middlesex University on behalf of Refugee Support on 'New Migrants in England and their Needs'.

Key issues
The report provides a brief history of migration and recent population changes in the cities. Basic statistics are provided from the 2001 census and national insurance registrations on non-UK born residents, asylum support statistics and National Statistics on industries of employment. The labour market, local activities and development that has responded to migrant populations are summarised. The report also identifies needs, gaps and priorities relating to housing and advice, English language courses, employment and advice, health and destitution.

Further details

Resource type electronic source

Published by Refugee Support





Young asylum seekers' conceptions of 'home' at a time of transition to adulthood

Author[s] Sirriyeh, Ala

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To explore young asylum seekers' definitions and experiences of 'home' and 'belonging' at a time of transition to adulthood and adjustment to life in the UK.



Methodology

A three-session focus group was conducted with seven students [aged 18-25] attending an informal English language class at a young people's resource centre, plus four semi-structured interviews with two females and two males.



Key issues

The article reviews the literature on asylum seekers' constructions of 'home' and experiences of housing. The methodology and ethical concerns of the research are discussed. Findings are presented that relate to home and time, home as 'normal' life, counter-narratives on home, support networks, home as safety and racist harassment.



Conclusions

Home for young asylum seekers can be seen as multi-layered and multi-dimensional incorporating material and emotional aspects, private and public space, and local, national and transnational attachments. Young people had renegotiated 'home' and 'belonging' through their migration pathways in parallel to their transition to adulthood.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

Volume 4, 1: 12-27





Scoping report on health and social care services to refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds

Author[s] Williams, Jane

Date 2008

Summary

Aims

To provide an overview of issues for refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds to inform service developments and future commissioning of health and social care services.



Methodology

Data was gathered by a small multiagency group on current services and demand, November 2007-October 2008. The report draws on monitoring data, issues raised through the regional health group and material from the Yorkshire and Humber integration strategy consultation.



Key issues

The report provides an overview of definitions, the asylum process and resultant issues, entitlements and available statistics. National, regional and local organisational structures and agencies working with asylum seekers and refugees are described, mapped and level of service use indicated. Voluntary and statutory service providers in health with some focus on refugees and asylum seekers are listed. The report discusses demand for services and issues around service provision in primary care and related services, such as homelessness services. Key health issues outlined are destitution, access and communication, mental health, isolation and discrimination, physical health needs, and housing for single healthy men. Gaps in provision include interpretation, dental services, mental health, sexual health, and physical health. There had been some recent developments in guidelines and frameworks have local impact, suggesting improvements in monitoring and a need for strategic recognition of migrant health issues.



Conclusions

The report offers conclusions relating to health services, based on the assertion that increasing number of refugees will settle in Leeds. These include: poor housing, low income and lack of employment are linked to health; subsequent social isolation affects mental health; destitution affects all health and social services and contributes to public health issues; the local Health Access Team is recognised as a model of good practice; the local authority service [LRAS] provide a valuable coordination role.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed at health services, partnerships and coordinating bodies, especially a need to refresh and improve working between local commissioning structures and national/ regional specialist policies and developments. Recommendations relate to interpreting services; training for generic staff to reduce discriminatory practice; recognition of the pressure of destitution on services; incorporation of refugee and asylum seeker needs in mainstream services; reviewing mental health services; commissioning research on health needs.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by NHS Leeds, Leeds





Effective teaching and learning ESOL. Summary report

Author[s] Baynham, Mike; Roberts, Celia; Cooke, Melanie; Simpson, James; Ananiadou, Katerina; Callaghan, John; McGoldrick, James and Wallace, Catherine

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

The aims of the research included to establish current principles of effective practice in language teaching and learning adult English for Speakers of other Languages [ESOL], to document adult student progress and to establish correlations between pedagogical practices and student progress.



Methodology

The research used a quantitative and qualitative multi method approach that included analysis of classroom statistics; 256 student assessments; 40 teacher and 76 learner interviews and observation of 40 ESOL classes: 20 in Greater London and 20 in Yorkshire [Leeds, Bradford, Keighley, Dewsbury, Halifax, Shipley and Pudsey], Humberside [Hull] and Lancashire.



Key issues

Against a backdrop of the complex socio-economic and political contexts of ESOL and pressures on demand, the report presents detailed findings on teacher duties and experience, teaching strategies, progress made by students in different areas of learning, provision of ESOL, course structure and study time. Ten classroom case studies illustrate dimensions of effective practice that scored highly in the analysis of teaching strategies and learner involvement.



Conclusions

The learners in the study reflect increasing and constantly shifting super-diversity in British cities, were relatively young, many were asylum seekers and were highly motivated despite difficult lives. A number of conclusions on elements of effective ESOL practice are provided.



Recommendations

Recommendations are grouped into development work and quality improvement and policy and are aimed at teachers, educational institutions and policy makers.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, London





Detaining the destitute. PAFRAS briefing paper number 2

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

This briefing on detention is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis and data from interviews with people who use the Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper provides some figures on those in detention and describes the use of detention as a form of coercion and criminalisation. The paper also discusses issues of contracting out detention to private companies.



Conclusions

The suffering of destitute asylum seekers is further silenced by a coercive policy climate which uses destitution as a policy to remove people from the country.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds





Section 4 support. PAFRAS briefing paper number 1

Author[s] Burnett, Jon

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

This briefing on Section 4 support is part of a series that provides concise analyses of key policies and concerns relating to people made destitute through the asylum process.



Methodology

Policy analysis and data from interviews with people who use the Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [PAFRAS] drop-in.



Key issues

The paper describes Section 4 support and the criteria for accessing it. Issues with securing Section 4 support, with the quality of housing and with voucher support are discussed.



Conclusions

Contracting out the provision of Section 4 support has fostered a market whereby many recipients are scared, vulnerable, and open to exploitation.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds

Web link to the research
Section 4 support. PAFRAS briefing paper number 1 - PDF on Researchgate website
[link to PDF document on external website]





Family asylum policy: the Section 9 implementation project

Author[s] Home Office

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

The report assesses the effectiveness of the pilot Section 9 project run by the Home Office.



Key issues

The pilot ran from December 2004 to December 2005 and covered 116 family units in London, Leeds and Manchester. A control group of 116 cases dealt with under normal casework procedures was identified to match for nationality and family size. The report provides data on the cohort and control groups, quantitative outcomes on uptake of return from the pilot and stakeholder feedback. A range of stakeholders were consulted to inform the assessment of the effectiveness of the pilot and its processes. Key areas of concern were impact on families and children, difficulties for local authorities in reconciling conflicting principles of child welfare and section 9, and demands on local authority resources made by the pilot.



Conclusions

The evidence from the pilot taken in November 2005 indicates that there was no significant increase in the number of voluntary returns or removals of unsuccessful asylum seeking families; the pilot did not influence behaviour in favour of cooperating with removal.



Further details

Resource type electronic source

Published by Home Office, London





New migrants in England and their needs

Author[s] Kofman, Eleonore; Lukes, Sue; D'Angelo, Alessio; Montagna, Nicola and Di Florido, Emily

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

To map new migrant communities in the UK and identify possible consequent development opportunities.



Methodology

The research, undertaken by the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University, was commissioned by Refugee Support. It reviewed available data and interviewed statutory and co-ordinating bodies, local policy makers and voluntary organisations in 12 localities in England. Three of the localities were in Yorkshire: Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster.



Key issues

The report reviews available sources of statistical data, provides maps of WRS [Worker Registration Scheme] and NINo [National Insurance number] distribution in England, and describes the selection and approach to research in the 12 localities. Data from statistical sources and interviews is analysed and findings and limitations discussed in relation to the movement of migrants, categories, transience, long term and family settlement, local intelligence and future trends. The main needs of new migrant communities are identified, including in terms of housing [advice, supply, conditions, security, homelessness]; destitution; language provision; employment; health; legal advice; and integration/ community relations. Local partnerships and policy initiatives are briefly listed.



Recommendations

Recommendations, aimed at statutory and voluntary housing providers and other services, cover housing advice, specialist housing, accommodation for the destitute, English language teaching, interpreting and translation, health access, legal advice and support, and community cohesion. The report specifically identifies Yorkshire as an area in need of an advice and support hub for new migrants.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Metropolitan Support Trust and Middlesex University, London





Racist hostility and racist victimisation. Research findings.

Author[s] Law, Ian; Hemmerman, Lou; Sirriyeh, Ala and Simms, Jenny

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

To examine local agency concerns of increasing racist hostility and violence in an area of low-income social housing in Leeds to gain a better understanding of how racist hostility works and to inform an effective response.



Methodology

Fieldwork was carried out January to June 2007 with victims, residents and agency staff.



Key issues

The findings of the research evidence reports of racist violence in Leeds; describe victims' experiences, discuss how racist hostility may emerge, and examines the responses from agencies. The research shows that racist hostility and violence in Leeds has proved to be highly durable, despite increased levels of reporting and improvements in policies and practices of relevant agencies. Community-wide patterns of racist hostility have been left largely untouched by dealing with individual perpetrators or victims. The research identifies experiences ranging from widespread, overt hostility to covert everyday talk. Drivers are described, including perceptions of unfair or preferential treatment.



Conclusions

Victims identified the failure of agencies to respond effectively given widespread racist hostility and the weakness of enforcement processes. Local agencies stressed a desire for more effective work with local communities and the need to improve implementation of race hate policy.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by University of Leeds, Leeds

Contact
i.g.law@leeds.ac.uk





Polish case study

Author[s] Leeds City Council

Date 2007

Summary

Key issues

The report presents the outcomes of a public meeting held with Polish new migrants, 9 July 2006 organised by the Polish Centre with statutory agencies to inform new migrants about their rights and responsibilities. The key issues raised are outlined, which include housing, benefits, health, advice, employment, registering for work, crime and the law, and driving. Copies of leaflets distributed at the meeting are reproduced in the report, and agreed actions are listed. The report also briefly presents the context of a rise in migration from Poland since EU enlargement, including some data on numbers registering for work in Leeds, telephone translation and National Insurance numbers issued. Observations based on the work with the new Polish community include the need for information, desire to learn English, family migration and reliance on relatives for childcare.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Leeds City Council, Leeds





Interrogating community: dispersed refugees in Leeds

Author[s] Lewis, Hannah

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

The thesis addresses conceptualisations and manifestations of community among people who have claimed asylum in the UK and examines the influences of policy on these social processes. It aims to contribute some everyday perspectives from individuals often marginalised in research and public debate.



Methodology

A 14 month ethnography in 2003-2004 employing participant observation with people from 12 countries, focusing on 14 men and women and extending to a further participant field of 40 asylum seekers, refugees, refugee community organisation leaders and members and community development workers.



Key issues

Conditions in the country of origin and UK policies create insecurity that shapes social life and affect the way that 'community' is experienced. Policy infiltrates daily life through housing control mechanisms, shaping capacity for home-making. Secrecy is a vital tool in managing social life in conditions of precariousness. Refugee community organisations, parties and social events form around new social groupings that include some and exclude others. Music, dancing, dress and food create some familiarity but do not simply represent 'home' culture. They create moments and places to contest both continuity and adaptation to the UK. The central importance of food highlights the particular role of women in reproducing community.



Conclusions

Ephemeral forms of 'community' allow for a sense of shared values in the context of fluidity. Recently-arrived refugees do not live in a community, but engage with [or avoid] community moments.



Further details

Resource type thesis

Published by University of Hull, Hull





Destitution in Leeds: the experiences of people seeking asylum and supporting agencies

Author[s] Lewis, Hannah

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

The research was commissioned to inform the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Inquiry into Destitution among Refused Asylum Seekers. It explores the impact of destitution on asylum seekers and agencies in Leeds, how people attempt to meet their basic needs, the challenges for agencies and the possible solutions.



Methodology

The research between September and December 2006 included: a four-week survey of destitute clients involving five key agencies; interviews with eight refused asylum seekers; 23 interviews, two focus groups and a questionnaire with agencies; and participant observation at two drop-ins.



Key issues

Most of those destitute were refused asylum seekers, including families. Some had been processed by the New Asylum Model [NAM]. Destitute asylum seekers rely upon friends and charity from voluntary organisations and churches to try to meet their basic needs. People remain destitute for protracted periods. This has an acute impact on their wellbeing, and can lead to self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Rough sleeping was common for some, including women. The response to destitution has involved campaigning and provision of support, but agencies are hampered by lack of resources, reliance on donations and restrictions on refused asylum seekers' entitlements. This support provides a vital lifeline, but may conceal the seriousness and extent of destitution from decision makers. Some of those destitute benefit from support 'in the community' but for others dependency can facilitate exploitation. Staff in supporting agencies are left demoralised and emotionally drained in trying to meet basic needs which diverts from integration-focused activities.



Conclusions

Linking support to asylum claims creates destitution. Destitution in not a deterrent, nor does it encourage return. Section 4 is not the answer to destitution: many people are unable or unwilling to take it up. Voluntary return cannot be the only option for refused asylum seekers. The destitution caused by asylum policy contradicts other policies including those on reducing homelessness, community cohesion, children's rights, race relations and social exclusion.



Recommendations

Regularisation - give asylum seekers the right to work; improve legal representation and decision-making for asylum claims; provide clear guidance on support and improve communication between refugee agencies, statutory bodies and the Home Office; monitor NAM outcomes - early indications suggest the need for improvements to quality of decisions, timeframes, training for staff, and presentation of options for voluntary return.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, York





Access to education for asylum seeking and refugee children

Author[s] Richmond-Coggan, Michael

Date 2007

Summary

Aims

The report evaluates the work of a Children's Society LEAP pilot project to explore the impact of having a worker to support families in accessing education and related services and to identify additional barriers to children gaining access to education.



Methodology

The pilot project worked with 69 children aged 4-18. The evaluation provides data from the project on referrals and support offered.



Key issues

The report describes and evaluates the pilot project, referrals, support offered and interaction with other agencies. Findings are presented on asylum seeking families with specific needs who required little support, those with multiple needs who required significant support and unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the care of social services. This work is described in relation to support with contact with schools, negotiating transport, accessing entitlements, legal representation, health services, English classes, and making community links.



Conclusions

The LEAP project had a positive impact on Education Leeds Admissions' team's ability to deal efficiently with applications. There is a particular difficulty for unaccompanied asylum seeking children in gaining access to education.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed at Education Leeds, the local authority and the Home Office, and relate to improving liaison between agencies to meet the educational needs of asylum seeking children, improved understanding of the role of housing providers in orientation and induction, and further funding to continue support for children and families.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Children's Society, Leeds





Somali women in Leeds: their health and well being

Author[s] Athwal, Bal and Fitzsimons, Lorraine

Date 2006

Summary

Aims

The objective of the research was to identify and illustrate the health needs of Somali women and offer recommendations for service providers to implement change.



Methodology

The research was conducted by Bradford Resource Centre on behalf of East Leeds Health For All with funding from Leeds City Council. 3 focus group discussions and 23 qualitative interviews were conducted with Somali women. Key service providers and Somali community organisations were also consulted.



Key issues

The women who participated were suffering from extreme trauma and isolation. Poor living conditions, pressures of parenting, and hostility from the indigenous population had an adverse effect on physical and emotional wellbeing and caused stress. Barriers preventing the women from accessing appropriate health services needed included difficulties in communication, lack of knowledge about the institutions and practices in the UK, and a lack of understanding among service providers of the specific health needs of Somalis. Problems relating to urinary infections and menstruation were common; some spoke of personal experiences and effects of female genital mutilation [FGM]. Some women had experienced minor incidents or racist comments that they did not let affect them; others had experienced death threats and harassment ostensibly exacerbated by terrorist events, Islamaphobia and anti-asylum sentiment. Muslim faith was important and a source of strength and unification among Somalis.



Conclusions

Changes to diet and level of activity, a high prevalence of stress-related symptoms and adjustments to the British climate make for increased medical needs and frequency of appointments. It is likely that FGM was more common than was disclosed. Half of the sample lived alone or were head of the household - there were clear needs for practical and emotional support. There was a greater reliance on informal rather than formal support.



Recommendations

Recommendations are directed at health services, language support and other agencies. Improve cultural sensitivity and awareness of medical practitioners and service providers to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees, of stress-related symptoms and FGM. Offer female doctors and interpreters; improve support for women who have experienced trauma. Provide appropriate childcare to relieve pressure and prevent isolation. Provide prompt and effective support for families experiencing racial harassment, quick relocation when at risk; advocacy and awareness in reporting hate crime. Signpost those wanting to contact family to the British Red Cross Tracing and Message Service; improve awareness among agencies of each other’s services.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Bradford Resource Centre, Bradford





A service user evaluation of the services offered by the Health Access Team

Author[s] Cartledge, Katie

Date 2006

Summary

Aims

To evaluate the views of Leeds Health Access Team for Asylum Seekers and Refugees clients to determine a client perspective on the service.



Methodology

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven asylum seeker clients.



Key issues

The evaluation assesses, illustrated by quotes, experiences of accessing services; the content of the appointment; social support; perceptions of what the service is doing well; and offers suggestions for improvements from the interviewees.



Conclusions

The Health Access Team is providing an accessible and highly skilled service that participants were very satisfied with.



Recommendations

Some recommendations are offered on improving access to the service, further research needs; and the role of multi-agency partnerships.



Further details

Resource type electronic source

Published by Leeds Medical School, Leeds





A report by Leeds Health Access Team detailing the health impacts of destitution amongst 'failed' asylum seekers in Leeds, March 2006

Author[s] Goodwin, Elaine; Newell, Jo and Raynor, Alison

Date 2006

Summary

Aims

The purpose of the report was to inform the Leeds NEPCT directors and managers of the increased issue of destitution among 'failed' asylum seekers in Leeds.



Methodology

The report is based on data gathered by the Health Access Team on destitute clients.



Key issues

The report addresses the issue of defining who is destitute and hidden homelessness and reviews estimates of destitute asylum seekers in Leeds. Reasons for a recent rise in estimated numbers are discussed, including changes to Section 4 support, and the Section 9 pilot. Areas of concern and health implications are outlined: rough sleeping, staying with friends or community, Section 4 support, pregnancy, families, restrictions on entitlement to primary and secondary NHS health care, and mental health. Organisations and initiatives working to address the issue of destitution among asylum seekers in Leeds are listed.



Recommendations

The report makes a series of recommendations to the Board of the NEPCT to address concerns about the health implications of asylum and health policy for failed asylum seekers and their children.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Leeds North East Primary Care Trust Health Access Team for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Leeds





Roma families in Leeds. A social audit of their situation, needs and services

Author[s] Mahoney, Cath

Date 2006

Summary

Aims

The research was commissioned by the Travellers Health Working Group to draw together information from agencies working with Roma people, the views of Roma people about their lives here and background data on Roma in Europe.



Methodology

The research included a questionnaire with 36 households, an agency questionnaire on service delivery and emerging issues, and case studies of Roma families collated by workers.



Key issues

The report provides some background to Roma in Europe, findings on Roma in Leeds, experiences of Roma in Leeds, their issues and future needs. These findings include: Roma have come to Leeds from Eastern European countries seeking asylum and as EU citizens. Roma are the largest pan-European minority, and have suffered a history of discrimination and persecution. The number in Leeds is not known, but the population is thought to be young with a high number of children. Families live in the private rented sector and tend to be highly mobile, affecting children's wellbeing. Roma have come to Leeds to work but are likely to be in low-paid insecure employment. Lack of English is a barrier to progressing in employment and accessing services. Poor health is a concern.



Conclusions

Roma people are likely to have multiple needs and to experience problems of poverty, poor health, and poor housing. There will be an increased need for appropriate and accessible services due to the young population with a large number of children, and the possibility that new Roma migrants will come from countries acceding to the EU in future years.



Recommendations

Recommendations relate to improving appropriate services for Roma people in Leeds, including play services, advocacy and advice, skilled interpreters, recognition of needs among mainstream service providers, forming an interagency group, identifying Roma health needs.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Travellers Health Partnership, Leeds

Web link to the research
www.grtleeds.co.uk/Health/index.html
[link to external website]





Are HIV / AIDS services in Leeds, UK able to meet the needs of asylum seekers?

Author[s] Allan, C. L and Clarke, J.

Date 2005

Summary

Aims

To determine whether existing HIV / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS] services in Leeds meet the needs of HIV-positive asylum seekers.



Methodology

The research was a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with seven service providers and 14 HIV-positive patients at Leeds Centre for Sexual Health, six of whom were asylum seekers.



Key issues

Asylum seekers and UK residents were equally satisfied with HIV / AIDS services at Leeds Centre for Sexual Health. Other agencies such as the Health Access Team and Terrence Higgins Trust had different strengths that provided valuable support of this client group. Unmet needs of asylum seekers were identified, such as specialist services for torture victims and educational opportunities.



Conclusions

Despite the stigma and negative media portrayal of both HIV and asylum seekers, service providers were highly motivated and committed to providing quality services. Current HIV / AIDS services in Leeds are able to meet the needs of asylum seekers. In areas of asylum seeker dispersal with increased case loads, this methodology may inform development of client-centred care networks.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed at health services. Current services will need to expand to cope with increased demands. Certain needs of HIV-positive asylum seekers remain largely unmet, including: specialist services for those who have experienced torture, befriending schemes; access to primary health care; training and education; continuing need to address stigma.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Public Health

Volume 119, 305-311





Narratives of service provision: a dialogical perspective on the 'support' of asylum seekers

Author[s] Brown, Phillip

Date 2005

Summary

Aims

To investigate the narratives of housing and 'support' service provision under dispersal.



Methodology

The chapter draws upon the interviews with members of a local authority asylum support team.



Key issues

The role of professionals required to fulfil a range of often seemingly conflictual and contradictory roles of care and control is examined, and the possibilities of a dialogical, 'polyphonic' approach to narratives discussed. The research identifies varying notions of 'support' and how these are talked about within the asylum system in relation to 'support' as control, dilemmas of 'support' and integration, and encouraging acceptance into local 'communities'.



Conclusions

By adopting ideas of dialogism workers can be seen as negotiating apparently contradictory roles of being carer and controller simultaneously.



Further details

Resource type book section

Book Narrative, memory and everyday life
Kelly, N; Horrocks, K; Milnes, B; Roberts, B and Robinson, D.

Published by University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield





Meeting basic needs? Forced migrants and welfare

Author[s] Dwyer, Peter and Brown, David

Date 2005

Summary

Aims

The research aimed to explore the extent to which forced migrants' basic financial and housing needs are being met.



Methodology

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 forced migrants [5 refugees, 7 asylum seekers, 6 people with humanitarian protection and 5 failed asylum seekers] and 11 key respondents involved in the delivery of welfare services between January and June 2004.



Key issues

Benefit rights are linked to socio-legal status creating a tiering of entitlements for different groups of forced migrants. For the majority of forced migrants, welfare had been reduced to little more than subsistence level. Destitution of forced migrants ineligible for public welfare was a concern and increasingly the charitable / voluntary sector and other forced migrants have to fill gaps in provision. Refugee community organisations [RCOs] are a potentially valuable resource which offer mutual, emotional and practical support, but their existence is precarious. Housing issues raised included the adequacy and standard of accommodation, finding new accommodation in the short transition period on gaining refugee status, and widespread homelessness among failed asylum seekers and reliance on other forced migrants.



Conclusions

Statutory provisions are failing to meet the basic housing and financial needs of many forced migrants. The burden of providing basic welfare is increasingly on charities, churches, RCOs and other forced migrants.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Social Policy and Society

Volume 4, 4: 369-380





Governance, forced migration and welfare

Author[s] Dwyer, Peter

Date 2005

Summary

Methodology

The paper discusses EU and UK policy and draws on research on meeting basic needs of forced migrants in Leeds that included interviews with 23 forced migrants and 11 key respondents involved in the delivery of welfare services.



Key issues

The paper explores the welfare of forced migrants at a supranational [European Union], national and local level. Member states are increasingly keen to deflect the problem of forced migration sideways on to other states. Many European states have looked to separate out and reduce the social rights of forced migrants. The welfare rights of certain forced migrants have been 'hollowed out'. Devolution of power to individual housing providers has led to variable and sometimes substandard provision. In the absence of state provision non-governmental organisations become key welfare providers. The welfare rights of forced migrants are subject to the dual process of separation and erosion.



Conclusions

Nation states have used supranational and localised networks of governance to deter the entry of unwanted forced migrants and, simultaneously, national governments have reduced or eradicated the welfare rights of forced migrants.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Social Policy and Administration

Volume 39, 6: 622-639





Meeting basic needs? The welfare of dispersed forced migrants in Leeds

Author[s] Dwyer, Peter

Date 2005

Summary

Aims

To highlight the main findings of a study, 'Meeting Basic Needs?', funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, on the basic welfare of forced migrants in Leeds.



Methodology

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 forced migrants [5 refugees, 7 asylum seekers, 6 people with humanitarian protection and 5 failed asylum seekers] and 11 key respondents involved in the delivery of welfare services.



Key issues

Despite political debate that sees asylum seekers as taking jobs and exploiting welfare systems, many forced migrants in the UK routinely face poverty and social exclusion in everyday life. Changes to national policy over a decade have focused on deterrence, exclusion of forced migrants from mainstream welfare systems and reduction in welfare rights. Dispersal to Leeds, numbers and housing provision are outlined. Benefits available to forced migrants are set at levels that promote poverty: basic needs of many forced migrants are not being met. Destitution is a real but hidden problem. Other issues to emerge are homelessness, very poor standard housing, hostility and a desire to work and contribute.



Conclusions

In the short term improvement in the welfare available to forced migrants in the NASS system or who have been refused is unlikely, and the basic needs of forced migrants will continue to be marginalized.



Recommendations

The article recommends an end to 'Section 55', which denies access to welfare for anyone who does not make a claim for asylum within 72 hours of entering the UK; and enhanced support for asylum seekers who receive a positive decision.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Review

Volume 15, 1: 21-22





Chinese action research project final report: household needs, public services and community organisations.

Author[s] Law, Ian

Date 2004

Summary

Aims

To explore needs, community organisations needed and key issues affecting the local Chinese community.



Methodology

The project was an action research initiative funded by a Health Action Zone grant and by Leeds City Council. A team of ten Chinese community researchers were trained and undertook a survey of 110 adults April to June 2004. Focus groups and interviews were undertaken with representatives of Chinese organisations and members.



Key issues

The report reviews the national context of the positioning of Chinese groups as ‘doing well’ among BME groups and describes migration and settlement in Leeds. A detailed analysis of need among Chinese people in Leeds is provided relating to households, asylum seekers, elderly and single parent groups. The findings provide data on settlement; poor housing conditions; the need for advice; racism, crime and isolation; poor health; and support needs related to the elderly, single parents, and children in schools. The study was undertaken in response to a perceived lack of institutional attention and poor understanding of Chinese community needs.



Conclusions

Many urgent problems and issues remain hidden with little attention being paid by public services. There is a need to transform casework concerns of community organisations into a collective agenda for action and campaigning.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds





Skills audit of refugees in West Yorkshire

Author[s] Back to Work Company

Date 2003

Summary

Aims

To conduct a skills audit of refugees and asylum seekers in West Yorkshire, to map existing forms of job search support, and to look at how these might be strengthened.



Methodology

A team with one manager and ten researchers conducted 500 interviews with asylum seekers and refugees with permission to work between mid-March and May 2003 to provide qualitative and quantitative data. The sample included 50 nationalities, 71% men; 75% were between the ages of 18 and 34.



Key issues

The research identified organisations offering services to help the unemployed back into work including 14 refugee specific initiatives and provides data on respondents’ language skills, education, health and vocational skills or qualifications. The findings indicated issues of language difficulties; the workplace as a setting for gaining English skills; workplace language tuition; the benefits of mentor support; difficulties for employers to find out about services available to support refugees.



Recommendations

Recommendations are aimed at employers and employment support services, and identify a need for more coordination of services, sharing good practice, support for workplace mentors and language training linked to job or work experience.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by West Yorkshire Refugee Network, Leeds





Refugees' opportunities and barriers in employment and training. DWP research report No 179

Author[s] Bloch, Alice

Date 2002

Summary

Aims

The aim of the research was to determine whether the training and employment support for forced migrants who are eligible to work is sufficient and appropriate.



Methodology

The research combined a survey of 400 refugees and asylum seekers from the Somali regions, Iraq, Kosova, Sri Lanka and Turkey in five UK regions [including Yorkshire and Humber]; interviews in six UK cities [including Leeds and Sheffield], six focus groups with supporting agencies; and analysis of the Labour Force Survey [LFS].



Key issues

The report addresses social aspects of life in the UK, pre-migration characteristics in terms of literacy and employment, English language and learning, employment and volunteering. Most respondents had been educated and many had previously held jobs in diverse areas of employment. The survey examined level of language skills on arrival and access to English classes once in the UK. Participation in training was very low despite a desire to participate in training. Levels of employment were very low, even when compared to LFS ethnic minority data. Diversity of employment was much more limited than pre-migration work experience and there was a lack of involvement in professional jobs. Employment was often in low skill jobs with poor terms and conditions and low pay. Methods of job seeking in Britain varied from those used in the country of origin and there were low levels of knowledge of statutory provision. Proficiency in English was linked to those likely to have been involved in volunteering.



Conclusions

Conclusions of the research relate to diversity of backgrounds and experiences among refugees; participation in education, training and the labour market; and the effects of language skills and information for access to employment.



Recommendations

The report offers detailed recommendations on employment, English language education and training, and for statutory, voluntary and community service provision. Areas for future research related to employment, training, language classes are outlined.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Department for Work and Pensions, Leeds





Issues affecting the primary healthcare of asylum seekers in Leeds: opinions of users and service providers

Author[s] Wood, Suzanne

Date 2001

Summary

Aims

The report outlines the issues affecting the primary healthcare of asylum seekers in Leeds and proposes recommendations for a future asylum seeker health service.



Methodology

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 4 asylum seekers, 5 housing support and hostel workers, and 19 primary healthcare providers.



Key issues

The report suggests that 28% of asylum seekers in Leeds were not registered with a general practitioner, which may be linked to the language barrier or extra time needed. Missed or late appointments negatively influenced the relationship of asylum seekers with practices. The idea of hand-held medical records that asylum seekers would keep with them was popular. Language was the most important factor identified, creating frustration and increasing appointment times. Key areas of concern in primary care were mental health and sexual health, insufficient knowledge of asylum seeker issues, funding for asylum seeker services, and the need for good communication between agencies.



Conclusions

The development of effective asylum seeker health services requires prioritising specialist language services, linking to other support groups and reducing the overall time it takes to see asylum seekers.



Recommendations

Aimed at primary healthcare providers, the recommendations include screening of new arrivals and registration at local practices to provide continued care.



Further details

Resource type report

Published by Leeds Health Authority, Leeds





Choice and dependence: refused asylum seekers and destitution

Author[s] Lewis, Hannah

Summary

Aims

The article suggests that destitution is an intentional outcome of UK asylum support policies and that the lack of means for meeting basic needs creates precarious lives characterised by dependence and lack of choice.



Methodology

Based on a survey of destitute clients at 5 agencies; interviews with 8 destitute asylum seekers; 23 interviews, two focus groups and a questionnaire with statutory and voluntary agencies and participant observation at drop-ins providing support.



Key issues

The policy causes of destitution are multiple with various roots both in the asylum determination process and in the asylum support system. Three intentions of destitution in the asylum system are identified: the separation of an even ‘more undeserving’ group within the asylum system [people whose asylum cases are rejected]; developing controls that attempt to incentivise return to country of origin; and as a tool of deterrence to discourage future arrivals, especially those deemed to be making fraudulent use of the asylum system to gain entry for economic reasons. The assertion that withdrawal of welfare support operates as a coercive tool has had far reaching effects for individuals subject to the asylum system and voluntary sector agencies that seek to support them. Section 4 support is available to some refused asylum seekers but people are often destitute in the period between asylum support being removed and applying for Section 4; some who apply are refused; and take up is low due to a fear of return to country of origin. Dependency on others for basic needs means experiences of various elements of destitution change over time in relation to information, opportunities and social relationships. While some refused asylum seekers benefit from vital support from fellow migrants, their undocumented status places them in vulnerable position. There is an expectation that voluntary, charity and church bodies will provide, but attempting to meet the urgent, basic needs of destitute clients diverts their resources from social, integration-focused activities.



Conclusions

Thousands of refused asylum seekers have been left for extended periods, often for years, in a seemingly intractable situation of forced destitution that manifests multiple serious health and social problems and leaves voluntary agencies and charitable support overstretched. There is no evidence that destitution achieves its aims of encouraging return, and it may even make return less likely as refused asylum seekers are forced to focus on daily survival. Granting the right to work would allow people to support themselves, but is a highly sensitive political issue.



Further details

Resource type journal article

Journal Critical Social Policy - forthcoming