– The United Kingdom's two-tier refugee system has led to excessive hardships for people granted asylum in the country, leaving many homeless and destitute, while resettled migrants receive accommodation and greater support from the government, members of parliament warned on Tuesday.
"Those refugees who arrive through a resettlement route are provided with accommodation and receive support to access services and find employment. For refugees who have gone through the asylum system, there is no such support… Coupled with the lack of support for refugees to navigate the social security system and private housing market, the brevity of the move on period leaves too many newly recognised refugees homeless and destitute," a report by an All-Party Parliamentary Group, published by the Refugee Council, said.
The United Kingdom has run the Gateway Protection Programme for resettling vulnerable refugees from all over the world since 2014. This was compounded by the Syrian refugee resettlement scheme introduced in 2014 with a view to bring some 20,000 Syrians into the country by 2020. The program has, however, stalled with around 3,000 resettled so far, according to Refugee Council figures.
Those lucky enough to be chosen have, however, received government help beyond anything seen by regular asylum seekers, who are only supported during their first month after being granted asylum. Resettled refugees benefit from accommodation, are able to access services and receive help with finding employment for a five-year period, according to the parliamentary report.
Further problems faced by refugees include administrative delays, a lack of English language courses, unemployment and no support for gaining new skills or integrating in the wider society, lawmakers said.
The cross-party group recommended to extend the support period for new refugees from 28 to at least 50 days, roll out a national refugee integration strategy to coordinate various administrative bodies, and appoint a minister for refugees.
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