There are evident differences between the term refugees and asylum seekers. Asylum seekers are those who are not yet being granted the refugee status. A refugee status means receiving the rights to live for a long-term or even for an indefinite period of time (Stewart and Mulvey 2014). Refugees are those who are not able to live in their home countries due to problematic political, social and economic conditions and opt to move to the other parts of the world. The United Kingdom is one of those parts of the world where a significant population of refugees arrives on a yearly basis. In the UK, 90% of asylum seekers are from the Asian or African countries (Fullfact.org 2018). The top five nations contributing to asylum application lists in the UK are Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Bangladesh (Fullfact.org 2018). Asylum seekers face challenges in accessing to services unless they are not granted the refugee status. Life becomes difficult then. The study is aimed at identifying whether refugees are treated equally as the native peoples in the UK. The study also evaluates the government policies adopted to address the inequality in job places or in the community.
Part 1: Nature and extent of the area of inequality
Refugees face challenges in fulfilling their basic needs when they wait for attaining the rights to live and also after being approved for the same. In few instances, asylum seekers unless they are not granted the refugee status they are able to access the basic needs as designed by the national government. Asylum does also struggle in significant cases until they receive the refugee status. They are not allowed to access or receive the mainstream benefits. They are not also allowed to work. It means they are under pressure from all ends. The severity becomes worsen when asylum seekers are denied to get the health services from top experts or the medical institutions. However, once they are recognised as refugees, they are left to struggle and have to face the sudden cut-off in supports. The very similar thing is happening in the United Kingdom. According to a report published in the Independent, the percentage of refugees and asylum seekers living in a status of food poverty has augmented by 20% (The Independent.co.uk 2018). Additionally, thousands who were being granted the protection in the United Kingdom are left on the breadline (The Independent.co.uk 2018). Charity firms and campaigners are now requesting for an enhancement in the service period which is given to asylum. The services as of now are cut off largely such as housing after 28 days of awarding the refugee status (The Independent.co.uk 2018).
In the light of the facts presented in the aforesaid section, this can be said that refugees and asylum seekers face a lot of challenge in the United Kingdom. They live in a sense of fear until their applications are not approved. It might also be rejected. The rejected asylum will have to return back to the home countries. Life as asylum seekers is full of challenge and requires a resilient character to bear the hardships during such period. It takes a long time until the applications of asylum are approved (Goodman, Sirriyeh and McMahon 2017). Asylum seekers are forced to spend life without any access to mainstream benefits for a longer period of time. Some of the asylum seekers are very badly affected by the problematic conditions in their home countries. They are left with nothing when they arrive in foreign countries. Life as asylum seekers for such peoples is comparatively more challenging. They are not able to enjoy even a basic life. They are forced to follow the strict rules for meals in rented housing. They are not able to access to quality doctors those who are even close to their house. They can only access the doctors who are entitled by the national government (Kum 2017).
Refugees whose applications get approved are not safe either. They are left to struggle for foods and shelter. Most of the supports are withdrawn once asylums are approved as the refugees. Refugees are discriminated at the different stages such as during the interviews. The difference is quite evident between native peoples and the refugees in terms of interview success rates. They are also discriminated in schools, universities and offices. Nevertheless, discrimination is a serious threat to refugees as it causes a lot of physical, social and psychological losses to them. Children are discriminated in schools which ultimately affects their cognitive capability. A cognitive capability is utterly required to capture and process the information. It affects the attention, thinking and memory of victimised children (Kaplan et al. 2016).
Part 2: Evaluating the policies and approaches adopted to address the inequality either in the workplace or in the community
Heath inequalities with refugees are very certain as the government policies are not adequately providing the needed assistance. Refugees are reported to have symptoms of anxiety and depression. It becomes severe due to unsupportive social, economic and political structure of the host country. Factors such as poverty, compulsory detention, housing, unemployment and social isolation are few of the major factors which make lives difficult for refugees. Additionally, refugees are from countries that follow different models for conceptualising the health diseases, anxiety and stress than the host country. It means that health counselling jobs with the refugees will be lot more challenging (Taylor, 2009). These facts state that it is very difficult for the UK government to realise a provision for health related treatments for refugees. Even if the government intends to provide the required support, refugees will still struggle to access the quality treatment. This may be due to the different models of health practices and also due to the unknown diseases which the refugees carry. Notably, health behaviours will be different and hence, the level of service will also struggle to provide the needed support (Chimienti and Solomos 2016).
Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) have been reported in high rates. The medical intervention is yet incapable to resolve to provide the relief from. Few argue that refugees need social rather than the medical intervention for the psychological distress in them (Heide, Mooren and Kleber 2016). Financial challenges are quite worsening for refugees. Most refugees are impoverished when they arrive in the UK. Those who apply for asylum are soon entitled to numerous benefits like 70% of normal earnings support (Taylor, 2009). They are offered accommodation in certain parts of the country where asylum seekers will have tough routines to follow like strict meal menus. If due to any reason like racist abuse individual moves to another place, the very next moment the individual will be barred from receiving the benefits. Claims will be refused and their benefits will cease as well. Such situation often leads to destitution (Chouliaraki and Zaborowski 2017). Under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, in most cases asylum seekers are not entertained to the added welfare remunerations (Taylor, 2009). There are potential challenges as well as the language barrier. Asylum seekers with low income can still claim the reimbursement for the prescription charges. However, they will be needed to fill up the relevant form in English. Hence, there are evident gaps between the right to and the provision of support (Chouliaraki and Zaborowski 2017).
Refugees are socially boycotted in various regards like principles of respect, self-efficacy and autonomy. Nevertheless, these are essentially required and thought of so as helping to attain positive health (Drož?ek 2015). Under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, asylum seekers are moved to places which are already deprived, so that, heath related treatments are made available to them. However, asylum seekers are not exposed to quality treatment and forced to live with barriers to care (Mulvey 2015). The current policy of the UK government is divided into two sections or tier such as failed asylum seekers and applied for asylum. Hence, treatments will be differentiated as well like primary and secondary cares. It will also include the entitlement to emergency or routine treatment. These systems of treatment just produce a fact that treatment will be withheld unnecessarily. For example, failed asylum seekers will be entitled to testing and counselling only for HIV; however, will be denied from treating HIV with antiretroviral drugs (Drož?ek 2015).
In summary, it looks apparent that refugees are treated unequally on different platforms like education, health treatments, accommodation, foods and others. Life before securing the status as refugees is not dissimilar to that of life as refugees in most regards. Asylum seekers face the challenge at the social, psychological, geographical and the medical levels. There are evident gaps in the numerous government policies for asylum seekers and the failed asylums in terms of entitlement to and the provision to support. Refugees, on the other hand, do not also have a supportive environment. They are discriminated in schools, universities and in job-places. Discrimination is threatening for children and the adults as well. Children in particular are badly affected by discrimination. It affects the development of cognitive ability which helps children to capture and process the data accordingly.
Chimienti, M. and Solomos, J., 2016. How do international human rights influence national healthcare provisions for irregular migrants?: A case study in France and the United Kingdom. Journal of Human Rights, 15(2), pp.208-228.
Chouliaraki, L. and Zaborowski, R., 2017. Voice and community in the 2015 refugee crisis: A content analysis of news coverage in eight European countries. International Communication Gazette, 79(6-7), pp.613-635.
Drož?ek, B., 2015. Challenges in treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in refugees: Towards integration of evidence-based treatments with contextual and culture-sensitive perspectives. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 6(1), p.24750.
Fullfact.org. 2018. Refugees in the UK. Retrieved from https://fullfact.org/immigration/uk-refugees/
Goodman, S., Sirriyeh, A. and McMahon, S., 2017. The evolving (re) categorisations of refugees throughout the “refugee/migrant crisis”. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 27(2), pp.105-114.
Heide, F.J.J.T., Mooren, T.M. and Kleber, R.J., 2016. Complex PTSD and phased treatment in refugees: A debate piece. European journal of psychotraumatology, 7(1), p.28687.
Kaplan, I., Stolk, Y., Valibhoy, M., Tucker, A. and Baker, J., 2016. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: effects of trauma and new language acquisition. Transcultural psychiatry, 53(1), pp.81-109.
Kum, H.A., 2017. Rhetoric, Reality and Refugees on the Margins: Remoralising the ethic of care and the European Union (EU) refugee policies: Valletta, 2015. Journal of Eduction and Social Policy, 7(1).
Mulvey, G., 2015. Refugee integration policy: the effects of UK policy-making on refugees in Scotland. Journal of Social Policy, 44(2), pp.357-375.
Stewart, E. and Mulvey, G., 2014. Seeking safety beyond refuge: the impact of immigration and citizenship policy upon refugees in the UK. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(7), pp.1023-1039.
Taylor, K.E.I.T.H. 2009. Asylum seekers, refugees, and the politics of access to health care: a UK perspective. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2751919/Accessed on 11 June 2018.
The Independent.co.uk. 2018. A growing number of refugees and asylum seekers are falling destitute in Britain, figures show. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/number-of-refugees-and-asylum-seekers-falling-into-poverty-soars-in-a-year-show-figures-a8195746.html