New refugees left destitute, report says - Refugee Council
August 28, 2014

New refugees left destitute, report says

One in five refugees supported by the British Red Cross is destitute, a new report by the charity has revealed.

The Move-on Period: An ordeal for new refugees addresses the problems faced by people as they make the transition from being an asylum seeker to refugee. It found many refugees being prevented from being able to work and support themselves after being granted asylum.

When people become refugees they are given just 28 days to ‘move on’ from asylum support. This gives people an incredibly short timeframe in order to find themselves accommodation and secure a way of supporting themselves.

The British Red Cross’ report echoes many of the findings of our recent report 28 Days Later: the experiences of new refugees in the UK, which found new refugees being at risk of homelessness and destitution due to delays and bureaucratic failures.

Both reports revealed evidence of new refugees being forced to rely on the goodwill of friends or charities for support.

The British Red Cross is recommending that that move on period is extended to 40 days to avoid there being a break in people’s support. It also calls for the Government to issue clear advice on refugees’ entitlements to all stakeholders and recommends ways in which job centre staff can provide a better service for new refugees.

Refugee Council Policy Manager Judith Dennis said:

“This report is yet more evidence of the problems faced by new refugees.

“The UK prides itself on its long tradition of offering safety to refugees but leaving new refugees in a position where they are unable to support themselves threatens to undermine that tradition. The Government must not turn its back on the very people it has decided need its protection.”