Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Take ACTION to stop government cutting support for children seeking safety in the UK

Stand up for the rights of refugee children and take action today!

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On 16th July 2015, the Immigration Minister James Brokenshire MP announced that the Home Office will be introducing a flat rate of asylum support, and that from 10th August 2015 all people seeking asylum, regardless of age, will receive only £36.95 per week. This change will result in a 30% cut in the support given to children seeking refugee protection in the UK.

TAKE ACTION!

Write to your MP today! We’ve got a model letter you can adapt. You can find out who your MP is at http://www.theyworkforyou.com, ask them to sign EDM 344 and to write to the Immigration Minister – James Brokenshire – to voice their concerns, and please let us know when you hear back from your MP.

You can also check out our briefing on Influencing Decision Makers and asylum support rates for some useful tips and tricks to make your arguments as effective as possible.

Got a question to ask or want further advice? Get in touch with STAR’s Student Network Coordinator or your local Regional Asylum Activism Coordinator to find out what else you can do to get your voice heard!

More about asylum support rates

More than 10,000 children in the UK asylum system already live below the poverty line. This change, amounting to a cut of £16 per week for each child, will force more vulnerable children and families even further into poverty.

This reduction in asylum support rates not only fails to take into account children’s additional needs – new shoes and clothes as they grow, books and resources for school – but has also been introduced by the Home Office despite strong evidence proving that parents living on asylum support already struggle to meet their own essential living needs, let alone those of their children.

An All-Party Inquiry into Asylum Support for Children and Young People in 2012 found that “Based on the evidence provided by child poverty, health and well-being experts, social workers, local authorities and families themselves… the current levels of support provided to families are too low to meet children’s essential living needs.”

When asylum support rates were first introduced, they were set at the equivalent of 70% of income support rates. With the current changes, people seeking refugee protection will now be forced to live on barely 50% of income support. A couple with a child living on asylum support will soon have to live on just under £111 per week, 60% below the poverty line.

Barely a week after these new changes to asylum support rates were announced, parliamentarians tabled two Early Day Motions calling for the regulations to be withdrawn, and both the Scottish National Party and the Green Party have submitted written questions to the Home Office querying their decision to cut asylum support for children.

You can stand up for the rights of refugee children in the UK by taking action today.

Find out more:

Asylum Seekers with Children to See Support Rates Cut, 16th July 2015
The Children’s Society briefing on flat-rate support, 16th July 2015
All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Asylum Support for Children and Young People, 2012-13

Posted by STAR team on 05/08/2015 at 02:56 PM