Dispersal Policy In Transferred Scattered Places Sociology Essay Example
Dispersal Policy In Transferred Scattered Places Sociology Essay Example

Dispersal Policy In Transferred Scattered Places Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2196 words)
  • Published: August 3, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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In this essay, we will examine the dispersion policy and its impact on asylum seekers. We will provide an overview of the policy while critically analyzing its effects. The role of NASS and statements regarding public assistance and refuge seekers in relation to changes in British refugee laws will also be assessed. Additionally, we will investigate how political ideologies have utilized these policies and their resulting impacts. This policy involves transferring immigrants to different locations, including accommodation that disconnects them from their original communities (Davis 1993). Asylum and refugee related laws have been a priority for Britain since the 1951 UN convention for refugees at risk of persecution in their own countries. After the economic boom of the 1960s, Commonwealth states were encouraged to fill labor market gaps which resulted in many settling in Greater London. Dispersal has had a longst


anding presence in the UK but only recently became routine for refugee seekers. Finally, this essay will critique the policy's implications and challenges for social work practice.Prior to 1990, certain refugee groups were assigned to specific regions in order to alleviate concentration among cultural minorities. This included Polish relocation in the 1950s, Ugandan Asians in 1972, Chileans from 1974-1979, and Vietnamese refugees. However, a high number of refugees in London and South East England resulted in strain on resources such as housing and schools, leading to local social and economic costs. To address this issue, some Local Authorities (LAs) voluntarily dispersed refugees to other areas like Teignmouth in Devon following the successful dispersal of Bosnians based on cultural community formation.

This approach aims to distribute refugees fairly throughout the country while easing the burden on overburdene

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councils in London and South East England. According to BBC reports, individuals seeking resettlement will be sent to regions with available accommodation such as Midlands. In addition, this dispersal policy seeks to improve quality of life for minority cultural groups by reducing biases and stereotypes through encouraging informal connections between diverse neighbors.

The objectives of this policy include controlling refugee entry into the UK, accelerating decision-making processes for applications, and reforming welfare benefit financial support systems.Advocates argue that society should accept the cost of immigration if a democratic decision is made to admit immigrants. However, critics suggest that the focus should be on reassuring voters about control over immigration and residency, rather than reducing costs or addressing racism. To achieve this goal, authorities must change their discourse surrounding illegal immigration and discuss refuge seeking and displacement to discourage such actions. The educational system can also play a role in altering public perceptions, while community engagement, active participation, and sponsorship can promote inclusivity (www.migrationyorkshire.org.uk). Dispersal is seen as a method for controlling refugee populations by limiting their social visibility and potential impact on society. If refugees are perceived as a problem for race relations due to concentration in certain areas, dispersal may be considered valid and desirable (Griffiths et al 2005). In the 1990s, political changes led to an increase in refugees seeking entry into the UK and other European countries. Public sentiment turned against them with racial undertones labeling them as “bogus” and undeserving (Robinson et al 2003 P: 122). Refugees are often viewed as being motivated by economics which contributes to public fear of the unknown. They are considered unwanted "otherness" in the UK resulting

in hostility from both local population and government policies towards them.The discriminatory treatment of refugees violates their basic human rights and poses a challenge to their communities, while also threatening the country's culture. Unfortunately, media coverage often misrepresents refugees as criminals responsible for the struggling welfare system, further fueling negative perceptions. In 1996, the Refuge and Immigration Act excluded refugee seekers from mainstream public assistance benefits that were previously available to all members of society. However, under the 1948 National Assistance Act, local governments are mandated to provide public assistance support to impoverished refugees although some provided ad hoc support with no clear guidelines. To address societal policy challenges related to refuge and refugees in 1999, the Immigration and Refuge Act was formulated which tasked the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) with providing services that meet refugee seekers' needs while alleviating pressure on local authorities and addressing concerns about access to social security benefits creating a pull factor on economic migration. NASS provides support and assistance during asylum seekers' claims process through location-based adjustments determined by them. According to Griffiths et al (2005), this marks a significant change in accommodating asylum seekers during their claims process.According to the Red Cross, failed applicants have only 21 days of support after their claim is refused, leaving many in poverty and relying on food packages. This has affected an estimated 26,000 people. The dispersal policy for refugees in the UK has faced communication issues and insufficient facilities for adjustment despite recent improvements. There have been difficulties across the country as councils were unsure about how many people had been sent their way or what language support was needed.

To avoid harming community relations, NASS must collaborate closely with other agencies such as police, landlords, and local councils. Their cooperation has improved the effectiveness of this policy by monitoring its impact on schools and other services as well as community tension. Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester have seen a larger number of refugees since this policy was implemented resulting in an increase in refugee community organizations compared to pre-dispersal policy times (Griffiths et al., 2005). Wet Midlands specifically boasts a significant refugee population in Birmingham.In his 2002 report entitled "Crimes of NASS," Fekete criticizes the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) for promoting institutionalized racism and being oppressive towards refugees. The Manchester Evening News (22/09/2000) and Cohen (2002:119) have reported on vulnerable individuals being left without support or information due to the absence of consistent policies against racial harassment and an overall strategy. Since 2000, NASS has been dispersing asylum seekers to accommodation without considering their language, culture, or individual needs. This often results in a lack of language support for those from cultural minority backgrounds who are dispersed away from communities where they share a common language. Families have been separated, and asylum seekers placed in sub-standard housing within impoverished communities due to limited resources and shortages of accommodation. According to www.independent.co.uk/news., such policies are neither humane nor practical. Since 1996, NASS and other voluntary organizations have been responsible for asylum seekers resulting in their networks being disrupted; leaving them feeling isolated and without financial support from their communities causing stress and tension which can have long-term negative effects on society by preventing groups of people from integrating into the community.The dispersal of refugees has

resulted in their placement in disadvantaged countries where they often experience assaults and racial discrimination. Settlement locations are determined without input from the refugees themselves, leaving them vulnerable to impoverishment, ill-health, poverty, and even death. Pending asylum seekers may be placed in detention centers where they may face discrimination and abuse. Private landlords also force some refugees to live with strangers, leading to overcrowding for larger families assigned smaller accommodations. The Audit Commission (P:3) found that some individuals who cannot cope with their circumstances return to homeless charities seeking help. NASS housed adjustments do not have legal protection from eviction while landlords benefit from contracts, worsening lodging conditions for refuge searchers according to Cohen et al (2002, P:118). The extension of immigration checks to lodging and homeless applications under the Asylum and Immigration Act is detrimental (NHA 1998:4;Cohen et al, P:109). Public funds received by asylum seekers may result in the loss of their ability to remain in the country or renew their permission. High unemployment and low wages undermine social networks for skilled asylum seekers and refugees in rural areas where job opportunities are limited as revealed by Urban Studies (Vol.43, 2006) and Cohen, Humphries, and Mynott (2002,P:130-31).Due to the scarcity of verifiers in stores and public transport, discrimination instead of support and opportunities further stigmatizes asylum seekers. Dawson (2004) and Lavalette & Pratt (2006, p.200) criticize the government's initiative towards asylum seekers for not considering children's welfare or human rights - with the powers of the 2002 Nationality Immigration and Asylum Seekers Act even threatening to remove children of failed refugee seekers from their families despite "every child matters" belief. The 2004 Asylum

Act also fails to address these issues. This policy goes against international human rights commitments and detracts from Third Way aspirations, resulting in refugees being classified as criminals which leads to confinement in detention centers or prisons, as well as enforced dispersion programs causing isolation, a lack of legal representation, and directed offense towards them. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigration has stated that these policies are discriminatory against vulnerable communities and demonstrate failed social engineering (www.lga.gov.uk). Despite being entitled to free healthcare, refugees and asylum seekers often receive poor medical care due to removal from GP lists so surgeries aren't negatively impacted according to the Audit Commission. Additionally, there is inadequate monitoring of refugee health during entry inspections with no follow-up due to poor health check-ups.Temporary registration of refugees creates challenges in maintaining frequent medical records and accounting for their healthcare needs, which is particularly concerning as many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after fleeing their homes. Despite the Labour government's promises to eliminate immigration racism, they have introduced stricter laws on refugees that include surveillance measures, identity cards, and fingerprint systems. This makes it difficult for social workers working with asylum seekers and refugees under UK dispersion policy context. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) collaborates with social workers and inquiry lines to determine which refugees are eligible for government aid. Their responsibilities include providing assistance to vulnerable individuals, ensuring they receive services outlined in the immigration and refugee act and addressing immediate needs. According to Hayes & Humphries (2006), vulnerable individuals often lack necessary support such as a mother unable to afford formula milk due to being HIV positive. Social

workers face a dilemma when deciding eligibility based on immigration status while balancing values of providing care during times of budget restraints and controlling access to support.According to Thompson (2009, P: 158), social workers have a crucial responsibility in understanding the impact of negative labeling on asylum seekers. Discrimination and oppression must be recognized by social workers when dealing with their clients' lives. Asylum seekers often face hostility and discrimination from the public and media which can hinder their integration into society even after a successful application. It is important that social workers aid asylum seekers in adapting to new cultures and empowering them to represent themselves, as this promotes social stability and prevents societal discontent. However, limited budgets for providing healthcare and other services may be strained by societal pressures caused by negative media portrayals leading to misconceptions about the financial costs of migration diminishing refugees' contributions to economic growth.

To enable effective integration and combat prejudice, practitioners must adapt their perceptions and solutions accordingly (Thompson 2009, Trevithick 2005, Dominelli 2008). Although social workers prioritize helping refugees over the rest of the population due to their daily work dealing with oppression and discrimination, they tend not always address vulnerable adults' needs sufficiently while focusing on child welfare/safety (Hayes et al., 2006).According to Hayes et al (2006), asylum seekers would have better access to local Social Services teams/benefits offices than a centralized National Asylum Support Service (NASS). Due to staffing limitations, the government should allocate more resources within current structures. In order to assist refugees effectively, the government should support an increase in social and community workers as opposed to relying solely on NASS which lacks

anti-discriminatory training and experience in housing and settlement issues. Social workers are vital for providing crucial support for asylum-seeking children. Although it is commonly believed that there has been an influx of refugees into the UK, fewer refugees are actually staying in the UK compared with the past 15 years (Reacroft, 2008, p:8). Social workers must address issues related to asylum seekers using interpretation services for effective communication since many of them struggle with English proficiency. Patel and Kelly (2006, p:5) state that offering interpreting services and language learning opportunities is essential in appropriate social care provision for asylum seekers. The Human Rights Act 1998 applies to anyone living within the UK's borders; therefore all human beings deserve respect and dignity regardless of their situation or nationality.Media coverage suggests that the UK struggles to offer necessary support for refugees, which has become a growing concern. For Social Work, it is crucial to uphold anti-discriminatory values and a humanistic approach because until a refugee receives asylum, they often lack basic rights and remain in limbo. As advocates for rights, social workers must ensure that asylum seekers' fundamental needs and aspirations are recognized regardless of their immigration status or background. Therefore, those responsible for providing services to vulnerable individuals should recognize the importance of promoting an environment of acceptance, tolerance, and equality. Although dispersal policies may be temporary measures while awaiting verdicts on asylum claims, policymakers must consider their long-term implications by ensuring integration into communities with future employment opportunities and services. The NASS must work with concerned agencies collaboratively to protect the safety of asylum seekers. This policy has been critiqued with its implications for social

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