Asylum seekers rights and entitlements


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Presentation given at "We Are One, Let's Walk Together" faith and health conference held in Glasgow in July.

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  • SRC DEPARTMENTS: Community Engagement; Policy and Communication; OSS & SIS; Refugee Integration and Employment Service (RIES); Housing and Resource Team – Raising awareness of refugee issues thru media, arts & local communities + Influence policy in Scotland & UK
  • Absence of gender based persecution
  • Asylum seekers rights and entitlements

    1. 1. African Christian Faith and Health Conference Saturday 9th July 2011
    2. 2.  “Many refugees and asylum seekers have experienced physical and psychological trauma as a result of human rights abuses and protracted conflict. Their experiences , combined with anxiety, uncertainty and lengthy resettlement process can have long lasting detrimental effects on their physical , emotional and mental health” (Thomas et al 2010)
    3. 3. Risk factors include; migration traumatic events poverty education unemployment low self esteem poor physical health and gender based persecution
    4. 4.  “any person who-owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside the country of his nationality and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”
    5. 5.  Research carried out by the Gender Violence Unit of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Scottish Refugee Council 46 asylum seeking women interviewed face to face Just over half of the women reported that their health was worse in Scotland than in their home country
    6. 6.  More than half showed symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 20% of women indicated they had suicidal thoughts in the past seven days 93% of women in Scotland said they had received adequate health care 33% had received STI testing and 54% had been tested for HIV
    7. 7.  National Asylum Support Service created in 2000-accommodation and subsistence Asylum seekers have to prove that there are destitute before any support is issued to them-Policy Bulletin 4 Social Work services offers support to asylum seekers with needs „above and beyond destitution‟-Policy Bulletin 82- Asylum Seekers with care needs
    8. 8.  Policy Bulletin 83 – Duty to offer support, family unity, vulnerable persons, withdrawing support Policy Bulletin 85-Dispersing asylum seekers with care needs - Implications for disclosure and medical report requests Policy Bulletin 70-Domestic Violence(Physical, emotional, financial and sexual)-Cultural and empowerment issues
    9. 9.  Scottish Government (CEL 09(2010) “Anyone who has made a formal application for asylum, whether pending or unsuccessful, is entitled to treatment on the same basis as a UK national who is ordinarily resident in Scotland while they remain in the country. If their application to remain in the UK is successful, they will be granted refugee status and will continue to be exempt from NHS charges on the same basis as a person ordinarily resident in Scotland”
    10. 10.  In Scotland the statutory regulations and government guidance do not permit charging for NHS primary care other than certain dental and optical services to asylum seekers and refugees It is for GP practices to exercise their discretion as to whether to register an overseas visitor or to treat them privately but they should not be refusing refused asylum seekers by the fact that their asylum claim is refused
    11. 11.  Anecdotal evidence from service providers and asylum seekers suggests that the statutory regulations on asylum seekers‟ rights to access health care following a negative decision are not being consistently implemented in practice in accordance with Scottish Government guidance In practice refused asylum seekers are not allocated GPs by the Glasgow Asylum Health Coordinator
    12. 12.  New Asylum Model Access to good quality legal representation Accommodation issues Refused asylum seekers Health matters-Health service for newly arrived asylum seekers housed at Y people
    13. 13.  General practitioners‟ surgeries present a point of reference at a time when they are few others Presentation reflect culturally ordained help seeking behaviour GP allocation through Health Coordinator in Glasgow City Council Midwife for asylum seekers Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture
    14. 14.  Royston Stress Centre and Lifelink Compass team provides specific service for mental heath needs Archway provides services for men and women raped or sexually assaulted in the past 7 days Health matters recently introduced Homeless GP
    15. 15.  Comorbidity issues Evidence that abuse is rife in migrant communities including refugee communities including gender based violence, child sexual abuse and domestic violence SRC and LSHTM study found out that 70% of the women experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime
    16. 16.  People who arrive in host countries face the same problems as those faced by local people Asylum seekers and refugees have added pressure because of the uncertainty of their immigration status SRC and LSHTM study found out that 54% of the women said that the asylum process had made their health worse Detention
    17. 17.  Destitution and homelessness Labelling/stigma issues Xenophobia and racism
    18. 18.  Engagement with communities Empowerment Cultural awareness for both hosts and visitors Training interpreters on how to work best in therapeutic settings and health settings How to handle disclosure and implications