A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. They begin their journey in the UK by claiming asylum and at that point are called asylum seekers.
Once a person has been granted refugee status (Humanitarian Protection) by the Home Office they become refugees and are legally entitled to reside in the UK, take up employment, access Department of Work and Pension benefits, social housing, educational establishments such as college and university, and free NHS care. Click here for further information.
Very often asylum seeking women fleeing war torn countries have horrific acts of sexual violence during these conflicts forced upon them before and during their journey to escape. Sexual violence in conflict destroys lives. More information on sexual violence in conflict can be found here.
The Foreign Secretary William Haigh and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, co-chaired the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on the 10th to 13th June 2014 at the Excel in London.
This was the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject, with 1,700 delegates and 123 country delegations including 79 ministers. The Summit agreed to practical steps to tackle impunity for the use of rape as a weapon of war, and to begin to change global attitudes to these crimes.
At Palm Cove Society, we understand and denounce the atrocities of rape as a weapon of war and provide specialist support for traumatised women who invariably often have limited English language skills and little civic awareness. Many arrive pregnant with a rapist’s child or with very young babies as a result of rape.
Once an individual is granted refugee status they are usually given 28 days to vacate their asylum supported accommodation and will then be expected to integrate into their surrounding community. This can be difficult with limited knowledge of UK living.
If you are a refugee and need accommodation, help or advice as well as Palm Cove Society there are many agencies that can help you:
Refugee Council: 020 7346 6700
Yorkshire Migration Partnership: 0113 395 2434
The Home Office Visa & Immigration Information for adults 0808 8000 630
For children 0808 8080 500