Home Office to give asylum seekers right to volunteer

The Home Office has said it will change its guidelines on asylum seekers and volunteering.

The new guidelines will say that asylum seekers have a right to volunteer.

The change in policy follows a campaign by Refugee Action last June which urged the Home Secretary Teresa May to urgently change the unsubstantiated rules which prevent many skilled and talented asylum seekers from volunteering.

More than 1,500 people signed the petition against misleading Home Office guidelines on asylum seekers and volunteering.

Nabil Al-inzy, a refugee from Kuwait, delivered the names to the Home Office in July.  

Refugee Action said they have received written confirmation from the Home Office that the guidelines will soon be changed.

The guidelines will say that all asylum seekers are allowed to volunteer – no matter what the status of their claim is. They’ll also confirm that asylum seekers are allowed to volunteer in the public sector, as well as for non-profit organisations and charities.

“What does this mean for asylum seekers? It means no-one can ever tell them that they’re not allowed to volunteer.  Their right to give back to their communities, help others and use their talents and skills can no longer be denied. And those who want to volunteer in local libraries, at their children’s schools and at other public sector organisations can finally do so,” Refugee Action said.

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