In response to government proposals to slash funding to the refugee charity sector, Refugee Action Chief Executive Dave Garratt said:
“Savage cuts to the refugee charity sector will force people who have already fled torture, conflict and persecution in their own countries to suffer even further while seeking safety in the UK.
“This is a devastating blow. Asylum seekers and refugees depend on the specialist services and expertise of refugee charities to enable them to rebuild their lives.
“Despite urging the government to reduce the unprecedented scale of these cuts, and to give us more time to implement the changes, we are extremely disappointed that cuts at a local and national level to our vital services will nevertheless go ahead as planned.
“We understand these are challenging times, but we are gravely concerned cuts this deep will not only devastate the organisations that provide asylum seekers with a lifeline, but will a have a serious and lasting impact on the wider voluntary and public sector.
“Sixty years on from the UN Convention for Refugees, which has saved countless lives, it is imperative our government continues to protect those seeking refuge in the UK today. The organisations which support these vulnerable people must be supported to do their work. Yet the UK asylum process itself has basic flaws which see applicants treated unfairly. The government should now turn to improvements, like getting asylum decisions right the first time, which would cost little or nothing to the public purse, but would mean everything to the lives of these vulnerable people.”
For more information contact Julia Ravenscroft, Press Officer at Refugee Action, on 0161 831 5454 or 07771 748 159.
Notes to editors:
- Refugee Action is an independent, national charity working to enable refugees to build new lives in the UK. We provide practical advice and assistance for newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement through community development work, and received 30,000 visits from asylum seekers last year. As one of the UK’s leading agencies in the field, Refugee Action has 29 years experience in pioneering innovative work in partnership with refugees.