The Refugee Council is today launching an update of it’s ‘Tell It Like it Is’ leaflet outlining basic facts about asylum seekers and refugees, which are often at odds to stories reported in the press and online. Through this leaflet, the Refugee Council aims to dispel many of the myths and misinformation about why people come to the UK to seek asylum, as well as what effect asylum seekers have once they arrive. All the information contained in the leaflet is referenced to independent sources.
A few of these myth-busting facts include:
- The UK is not where most people go to seek asylum. Currently, Britain hosts less than two percent of the world’s refugee population; over 80 percent of all refugees live in developing countries, often in temporary camps.
- Asylum seekers are not rich. While their case is being decided, people seeking asylum in the UK often live on as little as five pounds per day. Those who have been refused asylum are not entitled to any support, and are often made homeless as a result.
- The UK is not an ‘easy’ place to seek refuge. Many countries have a much more positive record when it comes to deciding whether people deserve asylum. The UK recognises less than one quarter of all people who seek asylum here as Refugees.
- Asylum seekers do not take British jobs, and the vast majority of these individuals are not criminals. Asylum seekers are unable to work while their case is being decided, and most of the people who seek sanctuary in the UK respect our laws.
- The UKBA seems to have particular difficulty in assessing women’s claims. A far greater number of women have their refusals overturned on appeal; during the appeal process, however, many people are not entitled to any support, and are forced into homelessness. This includes heavily pregnant women.
Despite facts about refugees being freely available, many of our national news resources continue to provide misleading claims about refugees and asylum-seekers.