Posted: 22 April 2013

Ten minutes to improve asylum support

Earlier this year, we supported Sarah Teather, MP and former children’s minister, as she chaired a cross-party parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people

More than 200 individuals and organisations submitted evidence, and the inquiry heard many examples of the current asylum support system forcing thousands of children into severe poverty. 

Despite the rising cost of living successive governments failed to increase support for those seeking asylum in the UK. As a result, asylum support rates have fallen way below the poverty line. Some families live on half of what the government view as acceptable for those who happen to have been born in the UK. The inquiry also found that over 10,000 children live on asylum support, many for several years.

Following the inquiry’s findings, Sarah Teather is working to change the law and make sure these vulnerable children get better support. Please tell your MP to take action today.

Highlighting to MPs the shockingly low levels of support 

We agree with Sarah Teather that asylum support should be assessed every year, taking into account inflation and adjusting the support levels as necessary. An annual review would allow for greater parliamentary scrutiny of the government’s decision on support levels for these very vulnerable children and families. 

We’re working with Teather to try to change the law on asylum support via a type of bill called a ‘ten minute rule bill’ that allows any individual MP to propose legislation – predominantly done by government ministers.  

Although unlikely to make it through parliament and pass into law, a ten minute rule bill allows an MP ten minutes to highlight an issue and propose the reforms they think are necessary. 

Sarah Teather will use her time to highlight the shockingly low levels of support available to children and their families seeking asylum in the UK and gather support from other MPs. This will raise the awareness in parliament that shockingly low levels of support are forcing some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our society into severe poverty and lead to positive changes for them. 

Add your voice to Sarah’s – email your MP and ask them to improve the support for children seeking asylum.

By Michaela Neild - Policy team

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