Journey across poverty continues even after refugee status: Report

Poverty remains chief predicament; road’s tough even for highly skilled
19th October 2010: For the asylum seekers, poverty apparently remains a constant companion. A report has revealed it remains chief predicament, even after asylum seekers gain refugee status. The report shows the journey doesn’t end once someone receives refugee status.
The research, carried out by the Scottish Poverty Information Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University, shows even highly skilled and qualified refugees come across more obstacles than others in elevating themselves.

The report, "Refugees’ Experiences and Views of Poverty in Scotland", prepared on behalf of the Scottish Refugee Council, says all the refugees they talked to were struggling to make both ends meet due to low income.

The charity has called for the introduction of right to work for people going through the asylum process so they can be prepared for the workplace, if refugee status is granted.

Researchers have also found a majority of the refugees had a tough time finding a job, as their skills or qualifications were just not recognised.

Report author and research fellow Kate Lindsay says refugees are not passive recipients of what they are offered by society, but are resourceful and creative in seeking solutions to the barriers they face.

But the routes the refugees have to get out of poverty appear to be narrower than they are for others.

The report also shows the refugees do not forsake their families back home; in fact many sent money to support family in their native country, even though they have little income of their own.

Research coordinator at Scottish Refugee Council Gareth Mulvey says they are becoming more aware of the hardships people face as they go through the asylum system in the UK.


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