Refugees are often faced with impossible choices. If you were in their shoes, what would you do?Take the quiz!
We believe that no woman seeking asylum should have to tell her story:
In front of her children
“I could have opened up more but my little boy was there, I don’t want to bias his mind, I don’t want him to go through that trauma. When it’s just you and your child, you struggle. In the interview there was a bit of disturbance because he wanted attention.”
Until a decade ago, single women attending their asylum interviews would have to take their children with them. Newly arrived in the UK, most did not have friends or relations with whom they could leave their children. This meant that at their interviews, women had to choose between traumatizing their children or not disclosing their whole story.
The Protection Gap campaign extended and reinvigorated the campaign for childcare at asylum interviews that the Refugee Women’s Stakeholder Group started in 2007. By 2014 many NGOs had been involved and four regional offices provided childcare.
However, with no national strategy, the provision was patchy: sometimes seemingly permanently discontinued (Glasgow/Leeds) or never set up (Liverpool, London).
As a result of the Protection Gap campaign’s influencing since 2015, the Home Office devised a national childcare provision strategy and obtained EU funding to set this up. In July 2018 the Home Office announced that childcare was available for all asylum interviews across the UK.
This means that a single parent attending her asylum interview in all 8 asylum hubs (Glasgow, Cardiff, Solihull, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hounslow, Croydon) can leave her children under 5 years to play safely in a playroom on site or in a nearby nursery during her interview.
The Protection Gap Advocates and their associated groups across the UK are now working to promote childcare and encourage women seeking asylum to use the provision.
As well as childcare during asylum interviews, we believe that this should be provided at screening.