Refugee campaigners are calling on the government to do more to
help refugees settle into the UK after new research revealed that
many Bosnian refugees found living here traumatic.
Nottingham Trent University psychologist Dr Nigel Hunt compared the
experiences of 69 Bosnian refugees who came to the UK with those of
121 Bosnians who remained in their own country during and after war
tore the country apart in the 1990s.
The research finds that refugees have a higher risk of developing
post-traumatic stress disorder. About half of those surveyed said
their standard of living in the UK was lower than in pre-war
The report says: “Refugees experience more difficulties than
internally displaced people. They have to deal with an alien
culture, a new language, and possible hostility from the indigenous
A Refugee Action spokesperson said the government must “listen and
learn” from refugees’ experiences and design policy
“The findings underline the fact that very often refugees have
particular needs that must not be overlooked. This is especially
important as the government undertakes its root and branch change
of current asylum services,” he said.
The Refugee Council said more assistance and support was needed to
help refugees successfully integrate into UK communities.
“The government needs to develop a strategy, involving local
authorities, the voluntary sector, and health and education
providers, to help these people make the most of their lives in the
UK,” a spokesperson said.
Dr Hunt echoed these calls for support, stressing the importance of
the host country providing assistance “not just in terms of
treatment of psychological disorder but also in providing an
appropriate welcome, help with learning the language and help with
adapting to the new culture”.
Comparing Refugees and Non-refugees: The Bosnian Experience from Nigel.firstname.lastname@example.org