Charity organises free legal advice for asylum seekers

An advocacy charity has organised a legal team to work for free to support destitute asylum seekers this week.

The Asylum Support Appeals Project is sending a legal team of eight barristers and solicitors to provide advice at asylum support appeal hearings at the asylum adjudicators in Croydon, south London.

Destitute “failed” asylum seekers can apply for board and lodgings from the Home Office if they meet strict criteria –  but if they are refused there is no public funding to legally challenge these decisions.

The charity arranged the free legal help to try to tackle the issue, as it was concerned asylum seekers’ appeals were being rejected due to a lack of access to such support.

It has arranged the support as a part of destitution awareness week, an event it has organised to highlight the plight of destitute asylum seekers.

Asylum Support Appeal Project co-ordinator Eiri Ohtani said: “An error in a National Asylum Support Service decision can mean a vulnerable person having to sleep on the street with no food. It is unreasonable to expect asylum seekers to represent themselves in court.”

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