Research & Policy Work

DSC_1390 copyChanging policy

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

Preventing Destitute Homelessness

In October 2012, Refugee Survival Trust commissioned consultants Community InfoSource to investigate the Prevention of Asylum Seeker Homelessness in Scotland. The report was published in June 2013 and provided a very useful but worrying insight into the situation being faced by destitute, homeless asylum seekers in Scotland. The report also provided a proposal for a project that would provide accommodation and high quality, targeted advice support for destitute asylum seekers in Glasgow. Consequently, RST is now leading the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service. You can read a summary of the CiS report here and the full report here.

  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)