Category: Refugee services

Bringing up a baby in a car: how our asylum system is failing families

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Red Cross volunteer speaks to Dilipa

Before the war life was good for Dilipa. She loves her country – the weather, the fresh produce, the lifestyle.

But after 2000, hostilities between the government and Tamil separatists increased. Life for ordinary Tamils in Sri Lanka became more and more difficult.

Members of Dilipa’s family were questioned and even tortured. They would get arrested for small things such as not having an ID card on them.

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Helping refugees in Europe: your questions answered

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Red Cross volunteer distributes relief items to migrants

(C) IFRC

Find out how you can help desperate refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants who have been forced to flee their homes.

What is the British Red Cross doing?

The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for refugees across Europe.

We’re supporting our partner Red Cross national societies in Italy and Greece. Volunteers and staff there are helping refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants arriving on their shores. More

Finding the family you never even knew you had

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Susan looks at old family photographs in her home

© Sam Whitwham/British Red Cross

Susan knew very little about her dad, who disappeared at the end of the Second World War. When she started to look for him, over 50 years later, she found more than she could have ever imagined.

When Susan was a little girl, her favourite possession was a small sepia photograph of her father. The last time she’d seen him, she was just five months old.

Susan treasured this photo and the few facts she knew – but, as she got older, it wasn’t enough.

In the years that followed, terrible and traumatic life events would push Susan to look for the dad she’d never known.

She had no idea that the search would end up with her finding a whole new family. More

Asylum in the UK – adding up the true costs

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Asylum seekers are called a lot of things in the press: freeloaders, scroungers, here to suck this country dry. So are we really the ‘El Dorado’ of Europe – a place of riches and gold that people flock to in droves?

If you feel like we give away too much of a good thing, then let’s take a moment to go through the bill.

Updated September 2015.

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Let’s lay down the law on asylum ‘illegals’

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Every week, there are headlines about illegal immigrants, sneaking under lorries and even hiding behind car seats – all so they can claim asylum in ‘soft-touch Britain’. Why don’t we send them back to their countries? Are they taking us for a ride?

To answer that, we really need to understand the law and process around asylum – and so does much of the media.

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Asylum seekers: are they living on easy street?

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It’s hard to picture what life is like for an asylum seeker in the UK. Some papers talk about five-star mod cons, while others write about dirt and grime.

So are they living it up in a luxury apartment, while you’ve bagged a rip-off bedsit? And do they jump to the front of the council house queue?

Let’s look at the housing an asylum seeker actually gets – and lift the curtain on those living conditions.

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