RST has participated in the national policy debate on asylum in Scotland. It has had significant success in bringing about changes in procedures affecting refugees and asylum seekers. Examples are:
– Providing UKBA (now UK Home Office) with evidence on the destitution of new mothers living on Section 4 support which contributed to UKBA introducing one-off maternity grants of £250 for new mothers.
– Working with Job Centre Plus to encourage them to establish a dedicated team of trained benefits caseworkers equipped to work with refugees. This team dramatically reduced the number of destitute people awaiting mainstream benefits until autumn 2010 when it was disbanded.
– Encouraging the Scottish Government to fund work to support refugees into employment.
– “21 Days Later”, a report published by RST and the British Red Cross, makes proposals for some key policy changes that would help to prevent the further destitution of refugees and asylum seekers. These steps include:
– Maintaining support for refused asylum claimants;
– Addressing the lack of public sector support structures for refused people;
– Making maternity payments to new mothers on section 4 support at the same level as those made to new mothers on asylum support.
To read “21 Days Later” and our other reports, please visit our Research page.