Report: England’s ‘Forgotten refugees’ face hunger and homelessness

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The Refugee Council has uncovered a chaotic system which leaves newly recognised refugees virtually abandoned by the Government which has committed to protecting them.

The Refugee Council’s new research report found:

  • When their asylum claim is granted, refugees are given just 4 weeks to secure an income and somewhere to live before the Government evicts them from their asylum accommodation
  • Newly granted refugees can apply for a one-off loan to help with integration, but Government admits it has ‘no target’ for processing these loans – though it ‘aspires’ to do so in 6 weeks – 2 weeks longer than refugees have before eviction.
  • This results in many refugees becoming homeless and destitute. 81 of 100 of the new refugees surveyed by the Refugee Council were homeless or about to be when they came to the charity.
  • The Refugee Council estimates that these problems could have affected 9,768 refugees last year alone.
  • Newly recognised refugees are being forced to rely on food banks, charities or friends for access to food, money and accommodation.

Report co-author and Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr. Lisa Doyle said: “For people who have escaped war, torture and rape; being granted asylum in Britain should be a moment of immense relief; a time to finally stop running and instead to focus on rebuilding their shattered lives.

“Shockingly, quite the opposite is true. These forgotten refugees are being all but abandoned by the Government which has just committed to protecting them. Quite simply, refugees are being left without refuge.”

Download the full report here.

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