British Red Cross
registered in England and Wales (220949) and Scotland (SC037738).
Published June 2010
Photos: © Layton Thompson, Jonathan Banks
“This powerul and moving report deserves
serious attention. The human cost o
destitution among people who have sought
our protection is terrible, and the case
or immediate action is compelling.”
“The British Red Cross provides vital support
to some o the most vulnerable people who
have fed war and persecution. I very much
welcome this report, which sheds light on the
hidden plight o those at the end o the asylum
process or whom return is not an option.”
For a hundred and fty years the Red Cross
has been caring or human casualties. Many
o the neediest people are drawn to the
Red Cross because o their commitment to
alleviating suering wherever and whenever
they can. In this report the British Red Cross
aces us with the depth o suering they
encounter within British society.
ourselves we would rather not know.
It conronts us with the case histories o
people who came to Britain or sanctuary
and ound themselves destitute on our streets.
As a Commissioner on the Independent
Asylum Commission (2008), with my
colleagues I heard the stories o people whose
experience is like that o those whose voices
we hear in this report. There is no question
about the depth o suering o those who are
reused asylum and fnd themselves destitute.
The commitment o the British Red Cross to
the ending o destitution, to the protection
o children, to permission to work, and access
to healthcare is a commitment to undamental
human rights. It is a commitment to alleviate
the suering o those who are casualties
twice over: frst rom whatever traumatic
circumstances caused them to leave their
country o origin and second rom the
workings o the UK asylum system.
This report is authoritative because it speaks
with the voice o experience. What the British
Red Cross is doing or destitute reused asylum
seekers is antastic.Not gone, but orgotten
comes at a time, just ater a general election,
when we all want to see new political initiatives.
The report closes with the words o one
destitute asylum seeker: ‘I hope I have the
strength to carry on standing’. It leaves me
thinking, ‘I hope I have the strength to carry
on fghting – or asylum without destitution.’
The British Red Cross is supporting an
increasing number o reused asylum seekers
in the UK who fnd themselves destitute. As a
leading humanitarian organisation we believe
that we have a responsibility to respond to
their specifc needs in times o crisis. Many o
these asylum seekers come to us as a last resort,
having exhausted all alternatives, with nowhere
else to turn.
In Not gone, but orgotten we ocus on the
humanitarian situation acing reused asylum
seekers who remain in the UK, and make
recommendations on how to develop a more
humane asylum system, which is so urgently
needed. As one o a number o voluntary
organisations who deliver support to this
vulnerable group, in this report we draw on
the fndings o a British Red Cross survey
and also rom the direct experiences o the
reused asylum seekers we help and support.
Based on this evidence, we suggest our policy
recommendations that would improve the
humanitarian situation o this vulnerable group.
We believe that the government and the
political parties should build a consensus and
address the shameul incidents o destitution
acing reused asylum seekers in the UK.
1. The adoption o the principle that
destitution should not be an outcome
o the asylum system.
3. An end-to-end asylum support structure,
including permission to work, until the
applicant is either removed or granted
leave to remain.
4. An entitlement to healthcare throughout
the asylum process until removal or granted
leave to remain.
Giving ood to destitute asylum seekers
here is not very dierent rom handing out
ood rom the back o lorries in the Sudan.
The humanitarian need is the same.
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