Without the right to work, asylum seekers are paralyzed economically, psychologically, intellectually and socially. This leads us to confusion which leads to stress and eventually to extreme forms of depression. It feels like the government has given up on our lives. This has a negative impact on the progression of the nation and giving up on the lives of asylum seekers feels like giving up on the nation.
“My name is Adam and I come from Darfur, Sudan. I would like to tell you about the Brighter Futures’ campaign for asylum seekers to have the right to work. I want to tell you about this because I know what life looks like for people like me who escaped from genocide in Darfur. The Home Office takes too long to decide our cases – and when you know your story is true this is very hard. This means you’re just staying at home, and you get bored with the TV. You can’t work – you see yourself growing up but you can’t do anything with your life. We’d like permission to work for everyone who’s been here for more than six months. If they don’t change this today, tomorrow for me will be too late.” Adam Teneh, 19, from Darfur
Brighter Futures is a self advocacy group for young asylum seekers and refugees, who are campaigning for all young asylum seekers aged 16 and over to have the right to work from six months after arriving in the UK. Brighter Futures is also calling for the Home Office to make it easier for young asylum seekers who do have the right to work to prove this.
We believe asylum seekers should have the right to work because:
• We need financial independence to satisfy our basic needs such as food, shelter, transport and education.
• We can then contribute to the economy through taxes.
• We can then relieve the burden on the benefits system.
• We can then integrate better with our local communities.
• We can change the image of asylum seekers - we want human dignity and respect.
• It enables the Government to reduce social problems such as asylum seekers being exploited by having to work illegally.
Finally, we get to grow financially, intellectually, emotionally and in confidence - as every human being has the right to for a brighter future.
We hope that this petition will compel the government to take a positive policy decision rather than believing the myths about asylum seekers. If the government truly believes in human rights, they must understand that not being able to work feels like the loss of our lives. Understanding the situation and taking into account these issues, we hope you will support our campaign.
We the undersigned call on:
- The UK Houses of Parliament to give asylum seekers the right to work when their case has been pending for more than six months.
- The Home Office to give clarification letters to young people with applications to their Discretionary Leave to remain pending, who do have the right to work, so that they can prove this to employers.
The Give asylum seekers the right to work petition to The General Public. was written by Brighter Future and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.