Home Office Research Report on Why Asylum Seekers Come to the UK

30 November 2022: Freemovement: Social networks often play an important role in shaping migrant decision-making and movements.

Where migrants can exert a degree of agency over their destination choice, social networks often play an important role in shaping their journeys. These networks are usually understood to comprise friends and family members, community organisations and intermediaries.

Economic rights do not act as a pull factor for asylum seekers. A review of the relationship between Right to Work and numbers of asylum applications concluded that no study reported a long-term correlation between labour market access and destination choice. Very few migrants have any experience of a welfare state such as exists in the UK and imagine that they will be able to (if not expected to) work and support themselves upon arrival.

Evidence does not suggest that grant rate has a significant impact on an asylum seeker’s choice of destination, and it is not clear whether migrants have accurate information on grant rates. Social networks, shared languages and diaspora communities more likely motivate asylum seekers to reach certain destinations.

What might explain why some migrants travel from France to the UK to claim asylum?

For those living in these makeshift camps, life is often uncertain and precarious, with camp clearances and forced evictions that can lead to damage and confiscation of personal belongings and reported police brutality and abusive practices. There is often limited access to water and sanitation facilities, while many depend on local associations for food distributions. This may act as a factor driving onward movement out of France, a small portion of which is to the UK.

Read more: Freemovement, https://rb.gy/2yvsdh




… despite calls from experts and campaigners to do so. We set out to gather as much information as possible about each of them. Here, we tell their stories. https://www.asylumseekermemorial.co.uk/

This is a journalistic project bearing witness to the stories of those who have died while provided with asylum seeker housing in Britain since 2016.

Asylum seekers are generally barred from working while they await the result of their claim. Many can’t afford to live. The Government has a duty to house them during this time.

In 2020, amid a growing backlog in asylum case decisions and the pressures of the pandemic, the Home Office expanded its use of contingency accommodation including ex-military barracks and hotels. In these and other types of asylum seeker housing – provided under contract by private firms Clearsprings Ready Homes, Mears, Serco – reports arose of poor living conditions and problems accessing medical care.

The Government doesn’t publish data on deaths in this accommodation, so our journalists set out to gather it.


I Was Not Born A Sad Poet by Loraine Masiya Mponela

THURSDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2022: Migrant Voice Ambassador and activist Loraine Masiya Mponela launches her first book

Migrants’ rights campaigner, activist and Migrant Voice Ambassador Loraine Masiya Mponela will launch her first poetry book this Saturday in Coventry, at the Herbert Arts Gallery and Museum.

The collection, titled I Was Not Born A Sad Poet, features 21 poems about Loraine’s life and experience of going through the British asylum and immigration system.

Loraine recently spoke with Migrant Voice about her book and her fight to have her refugee status recognised. She said: “This book has been documenting my own experiences as an asylum seeker. But a lot of these are collective experiences too.”

She finally received her status in August this year, but she told Migrant Voice she will continue to advocate for a better system for all asylum seekers, “until the last person is free.”

 Migrant Voice - Migrant Voice Ambassador and activist Loraine Masiya Mponela launches her first book
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UK Covid-19 Inquiry: Share your experience

21 November 2022: From the UK Covid-19 Inquiry: Share your experience

We are inviting you to tell us about your experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. By taking part, you help us to understand the effect of Covid-19, the response of the authorities, and any lessons that can be learned.

‘Share your experience’ is an online form that asks you to choose from a list of topics and then tell us about what happened. We’ll also ask you some questions about yourself and your circumstances. These questions are optional, but very helpful if answered, as they help us to build a full picture of how Covid-19 affected people with different characteristics and circumstances across the UK.

We’re working to improve this service. After sharing your experience you can send us feedback that will help shape what we build for the next version.

At this time you must be aged 18 or over to share your experience. Your answers will be saved anonymously.

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Applying for a visa if you are undocumented

21 November 2022: StatusNow does not give legal advice. We are passing on this very useful information that has been put together by our signatory organisation JCWI. Please follow the links below:

JCWI: Applying for a visa if you are undocumented

Are you in the UK without immigration status (a visa)? Getting regular status can be difficult, and there is lots of advice out there. Some of this advice is not up-to-date, and people may ask for lots of money for legal advice, even if they are not qualified to give it. 

This page contains information about some of the ways that people without status can apply for a visa. This page was written in September 2022 and will be updated regularly. 

This page has information on the different routes people can use to apply for status, and what kind of status people get if they are successful.  

If you are in the UK without immigration status, you can call our helpline and get advice from an immigration lawyer for free. The helpline is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 and 13:00. You can call 020 7553 7470 to speak to somebody. 

You can also contact your local Law Centre to ask for some advice. You can find your local Law Centre here.

This page contains advice on (click on the links):

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Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK

UK Parliament: Inquiry Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK

Wednesday 16 November 2022, Start times: 2.45pm (private) 3.00pm (public) Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK Committee Human Rights (Joint Committee)

At 3.00pm: Laura Dubinsky Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers

Rachel Bingham Clinical Advisor at Medical Justice

Rudy Shulkind Policy and Parliamentary Manager at Bail for Immigration Detainees

At 4.00pm: Charlie TaylorHM Chief Inspector of Prisons at HM Inspectorate of Prisons

Information about watching this can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/event/15701

StatusNow4All Newsletter November 2022

Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.

The first article calls for a discussion to re-launch our campaign for migrants’ rights in the present political turmoil

The second highlights the important outcomes of the Trade Union Congress and their relevance to further develop solidarity and union between the workers’ movement and the anti-racist movement.

Our third article reports a network meeting in London to discuss the impact of cost of living crisis on migrants.  The meeting was organized by our signatory Migrant Voice and a representative of Status Now for All was one of the speakers.

The last article reports an event organized by Status Now North West in Manchester to celebrate Black History Month.

Finally we update on SNN plan for an away weekend strategy event.
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Further Housing issues

Gal-dem: Revealed: ‘Shocking’ number of asylum seeker infant deaths in Home Office housing

Data obtained by gal-dem and Liberty Investigates finds seven babies born to mothers provided with Home Office accommodation have died since 2020.

Content warning: This article contains mention of sexual assault, miscarriage and infant death.

Maria Wetu was heavily pregnant when she arrived at a residence for asylum seekers in London, in spring 2020. It had been a harrowing journey.

Fleeing an abusive relationship in Angola, the 24-year-old had arrived in the UK just weeks earlier – only, she alleges, to be sexually abused by a man. She claims she escaped with the help of hospital staff who called the police, then she filed an asylum claim and was placed in state-supported housing.

On 13 April, soon after her arrival at the residence managed by Clearsprings Ready Homes, Wetu began suffering abdominal pains and asked reception staff to call an ambulance. Under their contract with the Home Office, providers of asylum accommodation are required to help residents access medical care in urgent situations. They refused to make the call, she claims.

Continue reading “Further Housing issues”