Red Coss: Can’t stay. Can’t go

CAN’T STAY. CAN’T GO. Refused asylum seekers who cannot be returned:
Refused asylum seekers who, through no fault of their own, cannot be returned to their country
of origin, risk falling into crisis. Many remain in the UK for extended periods of time and, without support, are vulnerable to exploitation. They are also likely to drop off the radar, which makes it even less likely that they can be returned. The Red Cross believes it is inhumane to keep them living in destitution for years with no recognition of the suffering they face.
For the Home Office
1.Refused asylum seekers who cannot return home due to such issues as lack of documentation should not be made destitute. Our recommendations include the need to:

  • Keep pregnant women and families with children on Section 95 support, regardless of their status, to prevent destitution and safeguard the best interests of the children involved.
  • Provide clear, realistic and practical guidelines for single adults applying for Section 95A on what is considered as
appropriate evidence to prove they have taken reasonable steps to obtain a travel document.
2. The Home Office should share the burden of obtaining proof of taking reasonable steps to
obtain a travel document. It should:
  • Use its resources to assist in contacting embassies to request a travel document.
  • Provide funding for travel to embassies to facilitate the process of gathering  documents.
3.Where appeal rights exhausted individuals cannot, after a period of 12 months, be re-documented, or there is a barrier to return thatis beyond their control, and they are complying with the system, they should be given discretionary leave to remain with a right to work and access higher education in the UK.
For the Red Cross
Our recommendations include:
  • Use our relationships with government and parliamentarians to help solicit responses from embassies when people are failing to receive
  • attention.
  • Independently, and in partnership with other organisations operating in the sector, look to develop an operational response that supports
  • service users during embassy appointments.
  • Review our current policy of providing 12 weeks of destitution support and take appropriate action to ensure the support we offer is sufficient to deal with the long-term destitution faced by this group.
  • Provide training for and raise awareness among our staff and volunteers on the issue of statelessness, including the option to apply
  • for exceptional case funding for Stateless applications.