Recently, Displaced People in Action was approached by Refugee Action and Asylum Matters to see if we might be interested in joining a coalition of organisations opposing the law which bans asylum seekers from working. Of course we said yes. Over the past 17 years, DPIA has worked with some of the most disenfranchised members of our society; people who wish to contribute to their communities and to their own living costs, but are prevented from doing so. Instead, asylum seekers are expected to live on £5.39 per day, a sum that barely covers the average cost of food and transport for an adult living in the UK.
Lifting the Ban is not just a matter of adding to the UK economy; it’s about giving people back their dignity. In a society that espouses hard work, we’ve somehow neglected to extend this right to some of the most vulnerable and traumatised people living in our communities. And neither is this also about “othering” asylum seekers as only being traumatised and vulnerable, because many of our asylum seeking friends are willing, able and desperate to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.
Let’s be better allies to our asylum seeking friends. For more information on how you can help, download the activist pack here.