Research abstracts: Child Refugees and asylum seekers in families

Title: No choice at all: destitution or deportation? A commentary on the implementation of Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004
Author: Cunningham Jo, Cunningham Steve
Reference Critical Social Policy, 27(2), May 2007, pp277-298

Abstract Despite the controversy surrounding the passage of Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act into law, the Home Office is piloting it in several councils across England and Wales, with a view to implementing it nationally. The Home Office is conducting its own evaluation of the pilot, but stakeholders remain unconvinced as to its objectivity and validity. This article analyses the implementation of Section 9 and finds that it has been a spectacular failure. Quite apart from failing to achieve its desired aim of securing the return of failed asylum seekers to their country of origin, Section 9 has brought about immeasurable suffering and misery. Attention is drawn to the human impact of the policy, and profiled are some of the families who have faced the impossible choice of destitution or deportation. But the article also recognises the unprecedented and overwhelming support that families have received from local people and the media.

Title: Preventative services for asylum seeking children: a final report of the national evaluation of the Children’s Fund
Author: Beirens H et al
Publisher: Department for Education and Skills, 2006. 80p

Abstract: This report considers the strategies adopted by two Children’s Fund partnerships for preventive work with refugee and asylum seeking children and young people. This element of the evaluation adopted a theory of change approach intended to make links between the activities put in place and the intended outcomes.

Title: Unequal care: an introduction to understanding UK policy and the impact on asylum-seeking children
Author: Lane Pauline, Tribe Rachel
Reference: International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 2(2), September 2006, pp7-14

Abstract: This paper identifies the major relevant legislation and procedures which affect health and social care provision for asylum-seeking children in the UK. It discusses some of the dilemmas asylum-seeking children may experience, as well as issues that practitioners may need to consider to ensure that services are suitable, accessible and non-stigmatising. The paper also identifies the different categories of asylum-seeking children who are supported under different sections of the Children Act and how they can result in unequal levels of social care, and identifies some positive practice examples for children who have been trafficked.

Title: Young carers in refugee and asylum-seeking families: learning from the outcomes of an international symposium for practitioners and policy specialists on addressing the needs of young carers (orphans and vulnerable children).
Author: Leadbetter Helen
Reference: International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 2(2), September 2006, pp35-40

Abstract: This article reports some of the key findings from a three-day symposium in Nairobi for practitioners and policy specialists drawn from the UK and from East, West and South Africa. The objective was to gain an overview of the possible benefits of integrating services for children and how this could overcome obstacles to educational and economic participation in the African context.

Title: “Starve them out”: does every child really matter? A commentary on Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act, 2004
Authors: Cunningham Steve, Tomlinson Jo
Reference: Critical Social Policy, 25(2), May 2005, pp263-275

Abstract: This article analyses Section 9 of the Immigration and Asylum (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act, which gives the Home Office powers to terminate all welfare support to failed asylum-seeking families deemed to be in a position to leave the UK. It examines the implications of Section 9 for practitioners and asylum-seeking families. The article shows that by threatening children with destitution and possible removal from their families, Section 9 flies in the face of the UK’s domestic and international human rights commitments. Moreover, in flatly contradicting accepted childcare principles, Section 9 undermines the Labour government’s stated ambition to ensure that “every child matters”.


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