Fall registered after a Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) went into administration
5th May 2011: Ever since a major charity went into administration, the provision of free legal help to the families and children escaping hounding has registered a significant dip.
Children and Young People Now claims the figures obtained by it indicate that 98,643 new asylum and immigration cases were dealt with in 2009-10. At that time, Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) was still operating.
Legal Services Commission (LSC) documents show the capacity among contracted providers following a new tendering process will run to 93,655 cases a year until 2012-13. It signifies a drop of around five per cent.
Campaigners believe the drop comes even as there is continuing high demand for legal services and despite assurances from the government that the capacity would not register a dip after RMJ goes into administration.
The largest provider of specialist legal advice for asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants in England and Wales, the RJM went into administration on June 16 2010.
Formerly the Refugee Legal Centre, RMJ was founded in 1992.
Its closure has deprive vulnerable people legal representation. It is apprehended many will actually face return to countries where they face persecution.
Director of advocacy at the Refugee Council Jonathan Ellis, said late last year they did a major service review and the one thing their clients told them was they wanted improving was access to legal support.
They are really concerned about this. For their clients, this is literally life or death. Difficulty accessing help undermines the chances of children getting status and protection, he added