Pregnant women, children and people with disabilities among those living on less than 77p a day
- 01 Oct
Hundreds of failed asylum seekers are living in Scotland on less than the UN's global poverty target of 77 pence a day.
Pregnant women, children and people with disabilities are among those who have been left destitute on Scotland's streets, according to a report by the Scottish Poverty Information Unit (pdf) which is based at Glasgow Caledonian University. The UN benchmark is aimed primarily at raising incomes in developing countries.
The report's author, Morag Gillespie of SPIU, said the levels of poverty she found were "dreadful" and that many interviewees were literally penniless with no legitimate means of income.
I am an experienced researcher in the field of poverty but I was shocked at the scale of the problem and the accounts I heard: people literally trying to work out where the next meal would come from; a person forced to sleep in a church cupboard.
This is a hidden crisis.
I was upset at what I found and as a UK citizen I am affronted that the government allows this to happen.
The report states that 1,849 destitute people were given emergency grants from a charity called the Refugee Survival Trust from 2009 to 2012.
The recipients were mostly male (76%) but included 128 families with children, 21 pregnant women and 25 new mothers.
Almost half (49%) were homeless, including families with children, 26 people with mental health issues, four disabled people and five pregnant women and two new mothers. The asylum seekers came from 67 countries, most often Iran, Iraq and Eritrea. Some interviewees had been in the asylum system for more than a decade.
The independent study was commissioned by the British Red Cross, Refugee Survival Trust and the Scottish Refugee Council.
SPIU recommends urgent changes to the asylum system, including support for pregnant women and measures to help the homeless and organisations supporting them.
The report says the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) should allow asylum claims to be submitted in Scotland and that "end-to-end support" – including accommodation and a system of cash payments – should be given to people through all stages of the asylum system until they are either granted status or leave the UK. The report also called for asylum seekers to be given the right to work if they remain in the UK for six months or more.
Gary Christie, of the Scottish Refugee Council, said:
Every day our case workers deal with people who are in desperate situations.
We see people who have been tortured in Iran yet have been refused protection; others fleeing for their lives from the violence of war in Somalia but who don't meet the terms of the refugee convention or pregnant women whose cases have been turned down and don't qualify for any support until they reach 32 weeks.
While families are supposed to receive support until they leave or are granted status, our research shows that, terrifyingly, some are falling through the gaps. The system is complex, difficult to understand and is not working.
Source: The Guardian
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1222895
- 08 May
Delays in the asylum system leaving many refugees homeless
The charity is calling on the government to review its system so that delays are eliminated in issuing documentation.In the report, titled '28 Days Later: the experience of new refugees in the UK',...
- 24 Apr
MPs criticise asylum housing scheme management
The Public Accounts Committee has said that the Home Office scheme has resulted in asylum seekers being places in "unacceptable poor" housing due to being "badly managed", reports the BBC. The Home...
- 21 Feb
Asylum Seekers let down by G4S
The study took place in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, prepared on behalf of South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) and Notog4sYorkshire Plus, for the Independent...
- 14 Dec
Consistent Problems for Detainees
The two inspectorates interviewed a total of 81 detainees to establish the factors relevant to the decision to detain or maintain detention, and the impact that detention was having on them. They...
- 21 Nov
G4S Asylum Seeker Housing Declared Unfit
Parliamentary inquiry into housing provided to asylum seeker families by G4S is not fit for children to live in.--> --> --> -->Women staying in hostels provided by G4S have reported...
- 15 Oct
Pakistani Girl fighting for education will receive treatment in the UK
Until now, she has been at a military hospital in Rawalpindi, but London had offered to help her in any way, so the evacuation has been arranged by the Pakistani authorities after an assessment by...
- 05 Oct
Child starved to death after benefits delay
Further tragedies are increasingly likely as more asylum claims are processed while support funding dries up, organisations claim.Details of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of ‘child...
- 24 Sep
Asylum Seeker Process can cause Mental Health Problems for Children
A study by The Childrens Society shows the link between the troubles children have when claiming asylum and their mental health and well being.Of the 3,000 unaccompanied children that claim asylum in...
- 20 Aug
Championing Asylum Rights After Death of Whole Family
The decision not to carry out a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of three asylum seekers in Glasgow brings to an end a sorry tale of desperation.Russian refugees Serguei, Tatiana and Stepan...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Found the seminar very informative and gave an interesting and full insight into current thinking about the consultation. Michael was a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter and encouraged interaction with the audience which led to further relevant points being shared with the room. I shall certinaly look out for future events!" M.E. - Care Housing Association