Research & Policy Work

Changing policy

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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.

Research reports

From Pillar to Post
This report shows the barriers people face when trying to exercise their rights including accessing education, health and social care services. The research also highlights the need for a national action plan to tackle asylum and migrant destitution in Scotland. Download the Full Report
Preventing Destitute Homelessness
This research provided a very useful but worrying insight into the situation being faced by destitute, homeless asylum seekers in Scotland. It also provided a proposal for a project which led to the formation of theDestitute Asylum Seeker Service. Read the Summary report and Full Report
  Trapped: Destitution and the Asylum System in Scotland
Research by Morag Gillespie of the Scottish Poverty Information Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University, commissioned by RST, Scottish Refugee Council and British Red Cross, 2012. Please download the full and summary reports here: Full Report and Summary Report (all in pdf format)
  21 Months Later
An update report on ’21 Days Later’, reviewing progress and next steps based on 18 months of RST grants data, by the British Red Cross and RST 2011. Please download the report here: 21 Months Later Report (in pdf format)
  21 Days Later
A detailed analysis of the causes and extent of destitution in Scotland, based on statistics from 3000 RST grants, by the British Red Cross and RST 2009. Please download the report here: 21 Days Later Report (in pdf format)
“What’s going on?”
A study into destitution and poverty faced by asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland by Marsden et al. Commissioned on behalf of RST. Please download the full and summary reports here: Full Report and Summary Report (all in pdf format)

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