Awareness Refs Asylumsee Rcos Dec09

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  • Hi Mark, Some really useful slides - I and colleagues at Sweet TLC deliver training on Diversity Management and Cultural Awareness so some of the slides are of particular interest. Thanks, JIm
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  • Jews’, 1938, Sunday Express. Hostile media coverage and public opinion is nothing new. Even when Jewish refugees were fleeing hostility in the 1930s, there was hostile media coverage in many newspapers. Metaphors of flooding and overrunning started way back then! When refugee issues are debated, the arrival of Jews in the UK during the Second World War is often highlighted as an example of the UK providing a ‘welcome’. However, we often forget that many Jews were refused permission to enter the UK and those that did arrive here often faced hostility and discrimination.
  • In 2007, the top five countries of origin for asylum applicants to the UK were Afghanistan, Iran, China, Iraq, Eritrea. Then Zimbabwe, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria. These are all countries with recent histories of war or human rights abuses. Afghanistan: factional fighting, warlords, suicide attacks, gender persecution, death penalty Iran: Persecution of minority groups (ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation), lack of political freedom (including the right to peaceful protest), arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment in detention, discriminatory laws and practices, repression of the media, death penalty. China: one-party state, political repression, media repression, restrictions on freedom of expression, death penalty, persecution of religious and ethnic minorities. Iraq: Fighting between armed groups, military occupation, suicide attacks, kidnapping, assassinations, attacks on civilians, death penalty Eritrea: religious persecution, death penalty, political repression, arbitrary arrests, imprisonment and torture, border tensions, detention, repression of the media, compulsory national service, suppression of human rights groups. Somalia: Civil war, warlords, state collapse, factional fighting, kidnappings, threats to human rights defenders, rape of minority clan women, death penalty.
  • This slide is for information only rather than detail. Main aim is familiarity with the terms as under the banner of ‘asylum seeker’, ‘refugee’, ‘refused asylum seeker’. Very important: with the new bill (2005) it is likely that refugees will only get status for five years. This could have a large impact on their access to loans and other services which will aid business set-up. Refugee Status (5 years as of IAN 2006) Humanitarian Protection (5 years- Human Right basis due to things like civil war, the death penalty) Discretionary Leave to Remain (3 years - e.g., unaccompanied children)
  • The process makes it difficult for refugees to establish: refugee status to enable them to work, finances, location, skills, networks for business support. Warning - legislation changes: the asylum system changes particularly quickly, legalities can change very quickly. This may effect the length of stay in the UK which has implications for business set-up or make the application process more stressful for the applicant. It may actually make the process better. But this has yet to been seen. Trust and confidentiality: Because of bad experiences with officials in country of origin or indeed here in the UK through the asylum process, refugees are often suspicious of authority. Establishing a sense of trust and confidentiality will be essential. Documents: The flight of refugees often means they leave without extensive documentation. This can be very problematic for their progress through the asylum system, exacerbating the concerns on the slide. Also it can mean that they find it difficult to establish themselves within UK housing, banking and employment sectors.
  • Couple £ 69.57 Lone parent £ 42.16 16-18 £ 38.18 Under 16 £ 50.81
  • Awareness Refs Asylumsee Rcos Dec09

    1. 1. Refugee Action – Basis Project Refugee community organisations – roles, potential and challenges SE Funders Forum 10 Dec 09
    2. 2. Today’s programme <ul><li>Refugee Action </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>The asylum process </li></ul><ul><li>The role and challenges of RCOs in the South East </li></ul>start
    3. 3. Refugee Action <ul><li>Reception, advice, information </li></ul><ul><li>Informing, influencing and campaigning </li></ul><ul><li>Access to employment and main stream services </li></ul><ul><li>Developing refugee communities </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Basis Project <ul><li>Partnership Refugee Action – Refugee Council offering: </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building for RCOs </li></ul><ul><li>- Training, 1:1 support </li></ul><ul><li>- Peer-to-peer </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness raising (funders, second tier orgs, RCOs) </li></ul>
    5. 5. “ In Britain, half a million ___________ find their home. They are never persecuted and in many respects they are given favoured treatment here. But now... they are overrunning the country.” Q1: Who said this, about whom and when?
    6. 6. <ul><li>“ In Britain, half a million Jews find their home. They are never persecuted and in many respects they are given favoured treatment here. But now... they are overrunning the country.” </li></ul><ul><li>1938, Sunday Express </li></ul>Q1. Who said this, when?
    7. 7. Refugee vs. Asylum Seeker
    8. 8. Refugees vs. asylum seekers <ul><li>Asylum seeker- A person who has left their country of origin, has applied for recognition as a refugee in another country, and is awaiting a decision on their asylum claim </li></ul><ul><li>Refugee - A person who, following their claim for asylum in the UK, has met the criteria laid out in Article 1 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Refused asylum seeker- </li></ul><ul><li>A person who hasn’t been able to prove that they would face persecution back home, has had their application turned down, is told to leave the country after the authorities have said ‘no, you can’t stay here’ </li></ul>There is no such thing as an illegal asylum seeker!
    10. 10. <ul><li>Economic migrant - A person who has moved to another country to work, could be legal or illegal. </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal immigrant - A person that arrives in a country and has no legal permission to be in that country. Has either not made themselves known to the authorities or has stayed longer than they were authorised to. </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>To qualify as a refugee a person must have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their: </li></ul><ul><li>Race </li></ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Political opinion or membership of a social group </li></ul><ul><li>Nationality </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>Percentage of world’s refugees living in UK? </li></ul><ul><li>11% </li></ul><ul><li>23% </li></ul><ul><li>3% </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>The UK hosts 3% of the world’s refugees. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of 2008, the UN estimated that there were 292,100 refugees living in the UK, that is 0.5% of the UK’s population </li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>Iran </li></ul><ul><li>China </li></ul><ul><li>Afghanistan </li></ul><ul><li>Iraq </li></ul><ul><li>Eritrea </li></ul>Where do refugees and asylum seekers come from?
    15. 15. Country producing largest no. of asylum seekers? <ul><li>Afghanistan (790) </li></ul><ul><li>Iran (540) </li></ul><ul><li>Zimbabwe (525) </li></ul><ul><li>Eritrea (385) </li></ul><ul><li>China (300) </li></ul><ul><li>Pakistan (280) </li></ul><ul><li>Somalia (230) </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Lanka (225) </li></ul><ul><li>Iraq (175) </li></ul>Figures from Sep-Oct-Nov 2009 Home Office
    16. 16. <ul><ul><li>Afghanistan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zimbabwe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eritrea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iran </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iraq </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sri Lankan </li></ul></ul>2008 applications to the UK 19% of all applications in 2008 were granted refugee status (3,725 of 19,400)
    17. 17. Number of refugees in the SE? <ul><li>Hard to tell: </li></ul><ul><li>Refugee Action – 3,700 face-to-face per year, and 5036 telephone contacts ( yearly figures) </li></ul><ul><li>*New refugees (RIES) : 255 (Oct 08-Sep 09) </li></ul><ul><li>Dover Detainees Visitor’s group : 80 released clients </li></ul><ul><li>Kent Refugee Help : 13 a year released on bail or after review </li></ul><ul><li>Kent unaccompanied asylum seekers: 300 </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Refugee status </li></ul><ul><li>Humanitarian Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Discretionary Leave to Remain (minors up to 18 th ) </li></ul><ul><li>Indefinite Leave to Remain </li></ul>Immigration status (after decision)
    19. 19. Characteristics of asylum process <ul><li>high number of Home Office refusals before the appeal stage </li></ul><ul><li>limited access to legal representation </li></ul><ul><li>no choice accommodation dispersal </li></ul><ul><li>below poverty levels of asylum support </li></ul><ul><li>destitution of refused asylum seekers </li></ul><ul><li>limited educational and training opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>general isolation and social exclusion </li></ul>
    20. 20. Why people come to the UK? <ul><li>Little choice about where to flee </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance on agents </li></ul><ul><li>For those that can choose, reasons include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>friends or family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>believing UK is safe and democratic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>previous links between their own country and the UK, including colonialism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>speaking English or wishing to learn it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Source: Robinson and Segrott 2002; Koser and Pinkerton 2002) </li></ul>
    21. 21. Weekly support for asylum seekers?
    22. 22. A single asylum seeker receives <ul><li>Asylum seekers: </li></ul><ul><li>Single over 18 £ 35.13 </li></ul>Job seekers: Single over 25 £ 64.30* Income support: Single £64.30* *These are general weekly amounts, they vary according to specific cases or circumstances
    23. 23. How do asylum seekers spend their money? <ul><li>MYTH: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Gold teeth </li></ul><ul><li>2.Drugs </li></ul><ul><li>3. Weapons </li></ul><ul><li>4. Leather jackets </li></ul>REALITY: 1.Phone calls 2.Bus fares 3.Food 4.Soap (Source: Mobiles, money and mayhem: the facts and fibs about asylum. www.refugee-action.org.uk)
    24. 24. Step in the shoes of the others <ul><li>What does it feel like to become a refugee? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the barriers to integration? </li></ul><ul><li>How are refugees and asylum seekers </li></ul><ul><li>perceived in the UK? </li></ul><ul><li>Can experiences be different because of cultural expectations and gender roles? </li></ul>
    25. 25. Things to consider…. <ul><li>Asylum seekers and refugees are not economic migrants, they are fleeing persecution </li></ul><ul><li>Refugees can work and set-up businesses - depending on their immigration status </li></ul><ul><li>In general asylum seekers cannot work or set-up businesses </li></ul>
    26. 26. Things to consider… <ul><li>Refugees face a complex set of restrictions on their ability to integrate </li></ul><ul><li>Employment and business set-up is key to integration </li></ul><ul><li>Asylum legislation is complicated and changes frequently impacting on the experiences of refugees and those working with them </li></ul>
    27. 27. Refugees’ contributions <ul><li>A recent national survey of asylum seekers found: </li></ul><ul><li>54% qualified to NVQ3 or above </li></ul><ul><li>80% employed, self-employed or studying before UK </li></ul><ul><li>30% self-employed before UK </li></ul><ul><li>97% under 50 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>51% spoke two or more languages other than English </li></ul><ul><li>Waddington, S. Valuing skills and supporting integration (NIACE 2005) and Department for Work and Pensions (2006) </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Meet immediate needs of refugees and asylum seekers – the shock absorber </li></ul><ul><li>Providing cultural and emotional support </li></ul><ul><li>A bridge to and between cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Raising awareness and understanding about refugees in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution to community cohesion within own communities and externally </li></ul>The role of RCOs
    29. 29. Where RCOs are 54 Source: Refugee Community Organisations in England- Realising Potential- Report by Refugee Action and Refugee Council July 2007. The numbers for SE are organisations in RA’s current database of RCOs
    30. 30. RCOs’ income Source: Refugee Community Organisations in England- Realising Potential- Report by Refugee Action and Refugee Council. July 2007
    31. 31. RCO diversity Refugee Community Organisations in England- Realising Potential- Report by Refugee Action and Refugee Council. July 2007
    32. 32. RCO services <ul><li>Most frequent in SE: </li></ul><ul><li>Social/language Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Self-help groups </li></ul><ul><li>Asylum and immigration advice/signposting </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness raising </li></ul><ul><li>Less frequent: </li></ul><ul><li>Gay and lesbian </li></ul><ul><li>Disabled support </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic violence </li></ul>
    33. 33. Challenges faced by RCOs <ul><li>Complexity of community needs – reflecting individual needs and situations </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of environment and isolation from debates </li></ul><ul><li>Funding – recession beginning to hit home </li></ul><ul><li>Relying on volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Language and cultural barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Their role is not well understood by funders, policy makers and local authorities – eg resurgence of single group funding </li></ul>
    34. 34. Barriers to accessing funding <ul><li>RCOs: </li></ul><ul><li>Communication and language </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge of funding criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of independent referees </li></ul><ul><li>No access communication facilities </li></ul>
    35. 35. Barriers to accessing funding <ul><li>Funders: </li></ul><ul><li>Decision-making panel know little about refugees and asylum seekers </li></ul><ul><li>The support RCOs have or not </li></ul><ul><li>Staff knowledge (grants officers) </li></ul>
    36. 36. Kent Refugee Help <ul><li>People in detention </li></ul><ul><li>Legal advice </li></ul><ul><li>Sureties or bail when possible </li></ul><ul><li>After release support </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009 13 successful cases, including 2 indefinite leave to remains </li></ul>
    37. 37. Oromo Community of Brighton <ul><li>- Gateway refugees from Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>- Social events </li></ul><ul><li>Self-help group </li></ul><ul><li>Language classes for children and adults </li></ul>
    38. 38. Any questions? Beatriz Fernandez [email_address] Basis Project South East Region Refugee Action

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