‘Home Office will give you refugee status, but not refuge,’ says a victim of bureaucracy and delays in survey for the Guardian.
People granted asylum in the UK are routinely driven immediately into homelessness and destitution because of Kafkaesque quirks in the system to deal with refugees, according to research conducted for the Guardian.
A survey of people granted asylum in 2016 and 2017 has revealed the devastating impact of homelessness among those who often believe gaining refugee status will be the end of their troubles. Instead, they often say the period after being granted protection produced even worse difficulties.
“The way the system works at the moment, homelessness and destitution are an inevitable consequence for many newly recognised refugees – and it’s completely avoidable,” said Lisa Doyle, director of advocacy at the Refugee Council.
The research, conducted by the Refugee Council for the Guardian, involved in-depth interviews with 54 people who had been granted asylum in 2016 or 2017 and had later sought help from the Refugee Council.
The interviews showed that sleeping rough and sofa-surfing were common experiences. Many people encountered such significant delays in opening bank accounts or obtaining the documents they needed to apply for work, housing or benefits that they were forced to sleep rough and plead for support from friends and charities.
SOURCE: Lyons, Kate. “‘Destitution is Routine’: Refugees face homelessness even after gaining asylum.” The Guardian, 8 September 2017.
See also: A refugee’s tale: they gave me asylum – and then made me homeless / Sarah Marsh,The Guardian, 8 September 2017.
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