People seek asylum for a catalogue of different reasons which can all have detrimental health effects, both physical and psychological. During the process, they can fall victim to factors which can exacerbate these issues, in addition to being exposed to certain grey areas in immigration and asylum law. Children are a particularly vulnerable sub-group of the asylum seeking population
To investigate the concept of asylum and to establish its significance in the UK, and particularly within the Merseyside area. Government policy, media perceptions and one published paper will be reviewed, and focus will also turn to the subject of asylum seeking and refugee children.
Methodology and Justification:
Several electronic databases were utilised to source information, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, BNI, AMED, PsychINFO, Health Business Elite and CINAHL. Key search terms in the fields of asylum seeking and child detention were utilised to construct more advanced searches in conjunction with the use of the NHS Athens service. Paper based documents including journal and newspaper articles, books and pieces of grey literature also came into consideration, along with communication with asylum service workers and health professionals, plus various Google searches using search techniques and terms as previously described. It was ensured that recent, relevant and reliable material was selected from online resources.
All evidence gathered helped evaluate all perspectives of the topic under scrutiny, including suggestions for improvements to the asylum system and support networks. Throughout, more reliable primary evidence carried greater weight in discussion.
Several pieces of legislation are intended to make the asylum process fair, but it seems the government’s concept of fairness differs from the traditional definition. Little provision is available to asylum seekers, who are in many instances forced to live for many years in the UK with inadequate support, although the northwest in particular boasts several exceptionally useful volunteer-led services for struggling foreign immigrants.
Detention is a worryingly over-used and health-affecting tool at the disposal of immigration control, and the treatment of young children and familys in detention centres is unacceptable. While steps are being taken to improve their circumstances, few advances are forthcoming.
Many aspects of asylum law and border control processes require urgent attention. If given, it could have a tremendously positive impact on the all-round health of this population. Further investment is needed in community-based support services to consolidate the work of the valuable but improvable volunteer services currently available.
Seeking Asylum: An Overview Of Asylum And Refugee Processes, Applicant Health And Child Detention (0)
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