William Eichler 27 July 2018

Resettled Syrian refugees report ‘positive experiences’ with councils

Syrian refugees who have been resettled in the UK with the support of local authorities report having ‘more positive experiences’ than those coming through the asylum route.

In 2015, the Government established the Syrian Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme with the aim of resettling 20,000 Syrians who have been driven out of their country by civil war.

New research from the University of Glasgow, based on interviews with 1,516 Syrians aged between 18 and 32, found that these resettled refugees had more positive experiences in the UK than those coming through the normal asylum route. This is despite higher levels of employment among the latter and the Government taking the more vulnerable among the former.

Dr Ben Colburn, Glasgow University’s head of Philosophy and one of the report’s lead authors, said: ‘There are two routes of entry for Syrian refugees. Some arrive the in the UK seeking asylum at the UK border after making their own way across Europe, while some 20,000 others have arrived straight from refugee camps as part of the UK government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, established in 2015.

‘Resettled refugees are supported by local authorities, funded by the aid budget for their first year. Entrants through the asylum route, by contrast, are housed and supported directly by the Home Office while in the asylum process. On being recognised as refugees, there are no further resources available to aid their settlement.

‘Resettled refugees are happier, more confident and more hopeful than entrants through the asylum route. The latter, by contrast, report worse experiences, less positive interactions with Government and society, and less support.’

‘It’s clear that the two-tier system isn’t working as consistently as it should if the goal is to foster social cohesion, facilitate integration and empower Syrian refugees to rebuild their lives,’ Dr. Colburn added.

Photo: Procyk Radek / Shutterstock.com

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