A report published by Refugee Action explores the causes and effects of destitution among rejected asylum seekers in the UK.
‘The Destitution Trap’ is centred on interviews carried out with 125 people in nine cities in the UK by a team of independent consultants with extensive experience in the field of human rights and asylum. The disturbing results reveal the extensive suffering caused by the government’s policy of cutting off support for rejected asylum seekers. Over half of the interviewees had been destitute for over a year and many, including pregnant women and those with physical or mental disabilities, were particularly vulnerable.
The interviewees give personal testimonies as to why they sought asylum, their experiences of applying for asylum and the effect that destitution has had on them. Their experiences are analysed to give valuable insight into questions such as what causes the destitution, what effect the current system having on asylum seekers and what effect destitution having on society.
The report concludes that destitution as a tool of public policy is not having any significant impact in influencing whether or not rejected asylum seekers choose to return to their home country, with the vast majority of interviewees when asked choosing destitution over persecution.
Download a free copy of The Destitution Trap here (pdf file, 807kb)