Refugee Reports

If you want to find out more about refugees, look through this list of reports from the last few years on the following topics:

Destitution

‘The Move-on Period: An Ordeal for New Refugees’ August 2014 (72 pages)
The British Red Cross examines the transition process that new refugees go through when moving from asylum support to mainstream benefits. They find that various factors are leading new refugees into destitution and recommend that the UK government extend the ‘grace period’ that new refugees are given to find employment and access mainstream benefits from 28 to 40 days.

‘28 Days Later: Experiences of New Refugees in the UK’ May 2014 (27 pages)
Refugee Council report on the experiences of refugees in their first year living in the UK after gaining refugee status. The report finds that new refugees are being forced into destitution and relying on the support of charities. It recommends that amendments are made to the system so that new refugees can move from asylum support to mainstream benefits more easily and it calls for the Home Office to support them fully until they are able to support themselves.

‘A Decade of Destitution: Time to Make a Change’ October 2013 (28 pages)
Report by the British Red Cross mapping destitution among asylum seekers and refugees in Greater Manchester. The report finds that almost half of those waiting for emergency support have been destitute for over 2 years and that 1 in 10 have been destitute for over a decade. It urges that administrative delays relating to asylum benefits are addressed and calls for extensive ‘end-to-end’ support for refugees and asylum seekers.

‘Report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into asylum support for children and young people’ January 2013 (36 pages)
The findings of this inquiry focus on the destitution of children and the causes of this. It concluded that the current level of asylum support provided to families is too low to meet children’s essential living needs or to enable parents to provide for their children’s wider needs to learn.

‘No Return, No Asylum-Destitution as a Way of Life?’ September 2012 (28 pages)
Report covering the extent and impact of destitution among asylum seekers in Bradford. Written by Dr John Lever commissioned by Destitution Concern Bradford.

‘Trapped: Destitution and Asylum in Scotland’ September 2012 (65 pages)
This British Red Cross report continues the work of assessing the scale and nature of destitution amongst people in the asylum system in Scotland in 2012.

‘Coping with Destitution: Survival and Livelihood Strategies of Refused Asylum Seekers Living in the UK’ February 2011 (69 pages)
Hundreds of thousands of refused asylum seekers currently live in the UK, with no legitimate way to earn a living. This Oxfam report looks at how they survive.

‘Destitution amongst asylum-seeking and refugee children’ May 2010 (8 pages)
The Children’s Society have written in this report of how the amount of families being forced in to destitution is increasing, and attacks ‘Britain’s chaotic asylum system’ as inhumane. It contains some shocking stories on the squalor that families, children and pregnant women live in, and has a very clear page on ‘Understanding the Support System’ that includes the laws and articles that destitute asylum seekers can use to claim support.

‘Not Gone But Forgotten’ June 2010 (14 pages)
This report by British Red Cross suggests policy recommendations that would make the British asylum system more humane and stop failed asylum seekers becoming destitute. It clearly outlines where asylum claimants can fall in to destitution and details poignant case studies.

‘At the end of the line – Restoring the integrity of the UK’s asylum system’ 2010 (88 pages)
This report by Still Human Still Here states that the number of asylum seekers becoming destitute is increasing. It outlines the human and financial failures of the current system and how some of the most vulnerable people in the world are being failed. It gives policy recommendations on how to make the British asylum system a more ‘humane, efficient and effective’ one.

‘21 Days Later, Destitution and the Asylum System’ January 2009 (21 pages)
This report by British Red Cross was written in response to the increasing number of destitute people requesting support in Scotland from the two charities over the past five years. It identifies steps that should be taken to prevent future destitution including improving UK Border Agency, changes to the Emergency Support Tokens scheme, and paying special support to single asylum seekers.

‘Still Destitute’ June 2009 (32 pages)
Joseph Rowntree’s third report on the destitution of asylum seekers, carried out in Leeds, shows that it is a long term situation for many, and that the number of people being made destitute is increasing. It looks at the physical and mental health of destitute asylum seekers, and the strain on local voluntary and statutory health agencies. It details suggestions to stop people ending up in these dire situations including giving them the right to work and improving their legal representation.

‘Living on the Edge of Despair: Destitution Amongst Asylum Seeking and Refugee Children’ February 2008 (24 pages)
The Children’s Society commissioned this report after becoming concerned by reports from the British Red Cross destitution clinic in the West Midlands and others in the region that they were seeing an increasing amount of homeless children seeking asylum. It looks at the role of Children’s’ Services and law in protecting families from becoming destitute, and has paragraphs on pregnancy, education eligibility, and emotional wellbeing of children.

‘Down and out in London: The road to destitution for rejected asylum seekers’ November 2006 (36 pages)
In this report Amnesty International succinctly outlines how easy it is for asylum seekers to become destitute. It criticises UK government policy on rejected asylum seekers that they say is forcing thousands into abject poverty. Amnesty believes that rejected asylum seekers are made destitute to force them to go home.

Education

‘I just want to study: Access to Higher Education for Young Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ December 2011 (18 pages)
This Refugee Support Network report examines the barriers asylum seeking students are facing in accessing higher education in the UK. It is based on the experiences of young people in London.

‘Briefing on Access to Higher Education for Refugee Young People’ November 2011 (5 pages)
This briefing by the Refugee Children’s Consortium considers current barriers to higher education, especially for those with Discretionary Leave to Remain.

‘Something to Smile About: Promoting and Supporting the Educational and Recreational Needs of Refugee Children’ February 2011 (76 pages)
This Refugee Council report looks at the positive influence of the Support and Mentoring in Learning and Education (SMILE) on both refugees and volunteers.

Children

‘What’s going to happen tomorrow? Unaccompanied children refused asylum’ April 2014 (106 pages)
This report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner examines the experiences of unaccompanied children who have been refused asylum. The report highlights the uncertainty, anxiety and stress young people face as their stay in the UK progresses. It recommends that young unaccompanied minors are given greater stability whilst in education, so that they are able to support themselves when they are made to leave the UK.

‘I don’t feel human: Experiences of destitution among young refugees and migrants’ February 2012 (26 pages)
This Children’s Society report reveals that vulnerable young people are being left homeless, hungry and forced to resort to increasingly desperate means in order to survive as a result of immigration policies which restrict their access to support and accommodation. The report calls immediate government intervention to ensure that young people in the immigration system are able to access the services and support that they need.

‘Destitution amongst asylum-seeking and refugee children’ May 2010 (8 pages)
The Children’s Society have written in this report of how the amount of families being forced in to destitution is increasing, and attacks ‘Britain’s chaotic asylum system’ as inhumane. It contains some shocking stories on the squalor that families, children and pregnant women live in, and has a very clear page on ‘Understanding the Support System’ that includes the laws and articles that destitute asylum seekers can use to claim support.

‘Living on the Edge of Despair: Destitution Amongst Asylum Seeking and Refugee Children’ February 2008 (24 pages)
The Children’s Society commissioned this report after becoming concerned by reports from the British Red Cross destitution clinic in the West Midlands and others in the region that they were seeing an increasing amount of homeless children seeking asylum. It looks at the role of Children’s’ Services and law in protecting families from becoming destitute, and has paragraphs on pregnancy, education eligibility, and emotional wellbeing of children.

‘Detention of Children’ July 2010 (6 pages)
This is the Refugee Council’s response to the UK Border Agency review into ending the detention of children for immigration purposes, with some alternative suggestions on how protection of children and families could be implemented more clearly and humanely than it is now.

‘Children in the Asylum Process: Going it Alone’ 2007 (8 pages)
3,000 children claim asylum in the UK yearly, but the Home Office will judge only 6% as ‘genuine’. This report by the children’s society assesses how effective and sensitive the support children receive from social workers, interpreters and legal advisers, which help them through the difficult interview, adjustment and detention processes, and is a truly shocking read.

‘Like Any Other Child? Children and Families in the Asylum Process’ (61 pages)
Barnardo’s recommends changes that should be made to the ways in which immigration services handle cases of children and families. These include giving asylum seekers the right to work if they have waited more than six months for their application to be determined, giving them cash instead of vouchers, to allow them to pick which region they live in, and to not move families repeatedly.

‘Last Resort or First Resort? Detention of children in the UK’ May 2011 (102 pages)
This research by Bail for Immigration Detainees looks at the affects of detention on children for the purpose of immigration control

Detention

‘Fast track to despair The unnecessary detention of asylum-seekers” May 2011 (52 pages)
A report by Detention Action critically reviewing the Detained Fast Track system which is supposedly there to speed up the asylum system but results in a 99% rejection rate. From this review Detention Action hopes to promote dialogue between NGOs, legal professionals and others on how to persuade the Government to consider asylum claims outside detention.

‘Detention of Children’ July 2010 (6 pages)
This is the Refugee Council’s response to the UK Border Agency review into ending the detention of children for immigration purposes, with some alternative suggestions on how protection of children and families could be implemented more clearly and humanely than it is now.

‘Out of sight, out of mind: experiences of immigration detention in the UK’ July 2009 (52 pages)
A powerful report on detention centres by Bail for Immigration Detainees charity that challenges the British system’s use of imprisonment without trial, the long time limits that people are detained for, and the detainment of families and children.

Women

‘Rape and Sexual Violence: The Experiences of Refugee Women in the UK’ March 2010 (10 pages)
The Refugee Council outline their concerns on the situation of raped and sexually abused female asylum seekers, their legal treatment and availability of support. They suggest five key priorities for policy change to improve their situation.

‘I feel like as a woman I am not welcome: a gender analysis of the UK asylum law, policy and practice’ January 2012 (96 pages)
This Asylum Aid report gives a detailed and informative gender analysis of the UK asylum system. It looks at the gender sensitive needs of women’s and gender based claims.

Why asylum seekers come to the UK

‘Chance or choice? Understanding why Asylum Seekers come to the UK’ January 2010 (60 pages)
This research investigates the decisions made by asylum seekers who come to the UK, explores the extent to which the decision to come to Britain specifically are a reflection of chance or choice, and ultimately debates the degree to which asylum seekers have power over their lives.

Border Controls

‘Remote Controls: how UK border controls are endangering the lives of refugees’ December 2010 (88 pages)
This report presents the findings of a one-year Refugee Council project that examined the impact of the UK’s border control on refugees’ ability to escape persecution and find protection. It assesses the moral obligations of border control, and details the many obstacles that asylum seekers must overcome including lack of documentation, use of biometric technology, lack of fixed procedure, and many others.

Right to Work

‘“I hate being idle” Wasted skills and enforced dependence among Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK’ July 2009 (43 pages)
This report analyses how current government policy leaves skilled and educated people in a state of dependence despite being from professions where there are shortages in the UK, including health care and teaching. It calls for asylum seekers to have the right to work if they have waited longer than six months for their case to be resolved, or if they cannot return home.

Mental Health

‘A civilised society: Mental health provision for refugees and asylum-seekers in England and Wales’ 2009 (32 pages)
This report by Mind highlights current government policy towards asylum seekers as restrictive and contradictory, and shows how it can cause great mental distress, for which they strug access help for, because of many reasons including language barriers, cultural difference, healthcare entitlements and lack of mental health services in detention centres. The report makes a large number of recommendations to different agencies.