Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Essay


This essay explores how unaccompanied refuge seeking kids ( UASC ) are oppressed in the UK. An unaccompanied refuge seeking kid is a individual under the age of 18 who has left their state of beginning in order to seek safety and is ‘separated from both parents and are non being cared for by an grownup who. by jurisprudence or usage has duty to make so’ ( UNHCR. 1994:121 ) . They are hence using for refuge in their ain right.

Discrimination is the procedure of placing that person is different and. due to this difference. handling them below the belt ( Thompson. 2006 ) . Xenoracism is favoritism that is aimed at people specifically because they are from a different state. and are hence ‘strangers’ ( Sivanandan. 2001:2 ) . Oppression is the adversity faced by a group due to the laterality of another group and their prejudiced actions. There is frequently an instability of power between the groups. and the dominant group may ‘disregard the rights’ of the non-dominant group ( Thompson. 2006:40 ) . Refugees can be seen to confront subjugation in many facets of society. This essay will first expression at the function children’s services plays in the lives of UASC. The ways in which subjugation of UASC in society can be caused by power relationships will so be covered. followed by specifically associate this to the subjugation faced by UASC in wellness. giving the positions of UASC. The essay will eventually look how societal work can try to cut down these subjugations.

UASC in Children’s Services

Unaccompanied refuge seeking kids are the duty of the local authorization ( LA ) to which they foremost present under the Children Act ( 1989 ) ( Rutter. 2003 ) . The Act states that local governments must advance the well-being of all the kids within their boundaries. and maintain them safe. It reiterates the importance of measuring the kid. and sing their wants. The legal rights of UASC in respects to LA support are hence indistinguishable to those of British kids. The Audit Commission ( 2000 ) . nevertheless. found that the criterions of attention given to UASCs were non to an equal degree as those given to autochthonal kids. They found that many unaccompanied bush leagues over the age of 15s were non given full demands appraisals. This led to many UASCs being supported under subdivision 17 of the Act. instead than subdivision 20. If a kid is supported under subdivision 20. the kid is ‘looked after’ . and is entitled to the full support of a societal worker.

They can be involved in taking arrangements. and there is a responsibility to protect their public assistance. Their designated societal worker must make a attention program and see on a regular basis. If a kid is supported under subdivision 17. they may non acquire any services other than an allowance for nutrient and adjustment. Section 17 is designed to back up kids where an grownup is already looking after them ( Dorling. 2009 ) . The bulk of unaccompanied kids seeking refuge that are supported under subdivision 17 of the Children Act are aged between 16 and 18. The Hillingdon opinion ( 2003 ) recommended that all unaccompanied refuge searchers were placed under subdivision 20. In malice of this. every bit many as 10 % of UASC are populating independently. This is in comparing to 2 % of autochthonal kids supported by the local authorization ( Hek. 2005 ) . Equally good as being an subjugation in itself this can besides be seen to worsen the extent to which the kid is oppressed in other countries of society.

Power and Discourse

Chase ( 2009 ) argues that Foucault’s ( 1975 ) theory of the panoptic mechanism can be used to explicate why unaccompanied refuge seeking kids do non unwrap all information relevant both for their refuge claim and for an appraisal of their demands under the Children Act 1989. The theory shows how structural and cultural systems are developed in ways that give power to the privileged over a less dominant group ( Chase. 2009 ) . This is done by size uping the refuge seekers’ lives. and hence increasing cognition. Chase argues that unaccompanied refuge seeking kids choose non to unwrap information to in-migration functionaries or societal workers. non due to linguistic communication troubles. but to try to ‘retain a grade of agency’ ( Chase. 2009:2052 ) . Power is ‘the capacity to move in such a manner as to command others’ ( Harris. 1997:28 ) . He argues that everyone has at least some power. and that this power. for the comparatively powerless. can be used to act upon the determinations of the dominant group. Unaccompanied asylum seeking kids non unwraping information can be seen as them exerting the small power they have.

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This can nevertheless hold a negative impact on their lives in the UK. for illustration. being placed under subdivision 17 of the Children Act alternatively of under subdivision 20. which would offer the kid more support. Foucault ( 1977 ) uses discourse to associate to how linguistic communication can be used to build thoughts and ideas about groups. Discourses and linguistic communication can therefore aid concept or cut down subjugation ( Thompson. 2006 ) . If a group has power. they have the ‘ability and chance to carry through or blockade personal. relational. or corporate needs’ ( Prilleltensky. 2008 ) . If the dominant discourse of a less powerful group is positive. the group with power may assist that group fulfil their demands. If the dominant discourse of a less powerful group is negative. such as with UASC. the powerful group may blockade them in carry throughing their demands. and hence will do subjugation. Innes ( 2010 ) argues that the negative discourse of refuge searchers as a menace to British society is portrayed in authorities literature and restrictive policies associating to asylum searchers.

The Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act ( 1996 ) constructed a discourse that asylum searchers were felons. For illustration. finger-printing of refuge searchers became standard pattern. which is widely acknowledged to go on when an person is suspected of a offense. The White Paper Fairer. Faster. Firmer ( The Stationary Office. 1998 ) implied that many refuge searchers were fraudulently claiming refuge for economic grounds. The Immigration and Asylum Act 2004 gave in-migration officers the power to collar immigrants going without legal certification. Traveling with passports and visas is rare for refuge searchers. due to the manner they have to go forth their state. Therefore. the act of seeking refuge can in itself make the person a felon. The discourse that the populace have of refuge searchers. and the corporate power they have. causes authorities to rewrite Torahs to criminalize refuge searchers ( Innes. 2010 ) .

This negative discourse therefore causes subjugation on a structural degree. Oppressions that happen on the structural degree are due to power instabilities between different groups in society doing favoritism to be ‘sewn in’ to society ( Thompson. 2006:28 ) . In relation to UASC. this can be due to policy and statute law. linguistic communication differences and their age. An refuge seeking child’s age nevertheless. can be seen to take to a positive construction. as they will have more support than an grownup under the Children Act 1989. Thompson ( 2006 ) argues that subjugations on the personal. cultural and structural ( PCS ) degree are all interlinked in his PCS analysis. Oppression on the cultural degree happens when differences in civilization or ethnicity are viewed as shortages. Stereotypes and premises of UASC can be found on this degree. Oppression on the personal degree is caused by ideas and actions of an person. for illustration xenoracist strong-arming in schools.

Profiles in the media. advancing a negative discourse of refuge searchers. can hence be a contemplation of the structural discourses in authorities literature. or frailty versa. Newspaper articles about refuge searchers can be seen as society size uping them. Due to the ‘knowledge’ gained from articles. the society’s perceptual experience of power over refuge searchers is increased. doing xenoracism and subjugation. This causes subjugation on the cultural and personal degrees. An illustration of the discourses the media portray of refuge searchers. as stated in Innes ( 2010 ) . can be seen below: ‘In a despicable act of profanation. a fake refuge searcher unzips his pants and casually urinates on the headstone of a British war hero… the grasping refugee and his buddies show breathtaking disdain for the courageous British troops… the speckless lines of white rocks are now under menace from the invasion of refuge seekers’ . ( The People. 26 February 2006 ) .

This quotation mark portrays the refuge searcher as a menace to British memories. The usage of ‘invasion’ implies a menace to security. The labels of ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ are used a batch to reenforce the thought that they threaten British life ( Innes. 2010 ) . Young asylum searchers cognize how the media portrays them. Miguel. an 18 twelvemonth old refuge searcher from Angola. came to the UK when he was twelve. Chase ( 2009 ) quoted him as stating: ‘It seems like they paint a image of us as in people who merely arrive indiscriminately to go forth their state and travel to England for no ground. . . and that we are here merely to acquire benefits or something. or acquire an instruction.

All that is non assisting truly. I don’t think they paint a good image of asylum-seekers. ’ These discourses of refuge searchers can make a stigma that leads to xenoracism on the personal degree. Chase ( 2009 ) quoted Chrisna. aged 18. from the Democratic Republic of Congo ( DRC ) . on how people reacted when they found out she was an asylum searcher: ‘Sometimes they give you this expression. like. ‘what are you making in this state? ’ They don’t want to state it but they are demoing you with the expression. ’

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It can be seen that the dominant discourse of refuge searchers and the power derived functions between them and the British bulk can do subjugation. This subdivision will look at some of the subjugation unaccompanied refuge seeking kids face in relation to their wellness. Legally. all refuge searchers and refugees. apart from those whose asylum claim has failed. have the same rights to healthcare as the remainder of the UK population ( Joels. 2008 ) . However. the specific health care and cultural demands of refugees. and the barriers faced in accessing health care can intend that the wellness of UASC is at a poorer degree than others in the UK. Although small research has been done specifically for UASC. the Dennis ( 2002 ) found that 34 % of refugee kids were non registered to a GP.

Approximately a 3rd of UASC said that they had jobs really acquiring to see a GP ( Marriott 2001in Hek. 2005 ) . This was peculiarly the instance when immature people had no grownup to assist them through the procedure. Wade et Al ( 2005 ) found that accessing health care when needed and support with their wellness was better for UASC who were looked after under subdivision 20 of the Children Act than for those that received small support under subdivision 17. This is a structural subjugation of UASC under subdivision 17. and is due to statutory demands for wellness appraisals of looked after kids.

A fouteen twelvemonth old male child. who had been in the UK for 6 months was quoted as stating: ‘What is a GP? ’ ( Kidane. 2001 in Hek. 2005 ) Language troubles besides prevent UASC from accessing primary health care. and besides protract the clip before a diagnosing is made ( Rutter. 2003 ) . This can be seen as a structural subjugation. Interpreters can be employed to get the better of this. nevertheless. outside London or large metropoliss translators with the appropriate linguistic communication may non be available ( Rutter. 2003 ) . One unaccompanied child was quoted as stating: ‘The physician ne’er arranges for translators. There is ne’er anyone at that place. ’ ( Gosling. 2000 in Hek. 2005 )

Female UASC can be double oppressed by linguistic communication troubles in health care due to the laterality of male translators ( Joels. 2008 ) . When wellness jobs occur due to. for illustration. colza or female venereal mutilation ( FGM ) . many adult females will non experience comfy speaking to work forces about the injury they experienced. The immature adult females are oppressed non merely due to the power British people have. but besides by the power work forces have. Williams ( 2004 ) states that xenophobia exists within the NHS. which can curtail the entree to healthcare that unaccompanied bush leagues receive.

NHS staff. wittingly or unwittingly. dainty UASC otherwise to others. This can be seen as a contemplation of the structural and cultural favoritism discussed above. Williams ( 2004 ) besides argues that the jurisprudence introduced to halt failed asylum searchers from accessing some secondary health care will confound practicians about the degree of health care they can offer to those waiting for a determination on their refuge claim. This is subjugation on the structural degree. The statute law constructs a discourse about failed refuge searchers that society misinterprets to include all asylum searchers.

In footings of the physical wellness of UASC. the affects of malnutrition due to poverty hold a important impact. This is peculiarly prevailing amongst UASC life independently ( Hek. 2005 ) . One 17 twelvemonth old male child said: ‘sometimes when I am short of money. I merely eat mayonnaise’ . ( Stanley. 2001 in Hek. 2005 )

The poorness experienced by unaccompanied refuge seeking kids can be seen as a structural subjugation. The degree of support they receive under the Children Act will hold an impact on the sum of money they have. They are besides unable to work. which can be due to their age and statute law that prohibits refuge searchers from working until they have been in the UK for 12 months ( Bloch. 2008 ) .

Social Work with unaccompanied refuge seeking kids

Anti-oppressive pattern ( AOP ) ‘seeks to understand and cover with the structural causes of societal jobs and turn to their consequences’ ( Dominelli. 2009 ; 53 ) . Thompson ( 2006 ) states points to travel towards a more anti-racist. and hence anti-oppressive. pattern in societal work. I will use and analyze these stairss with respects to working with UASC. Social workers should admit the impact that structural and cultural influences have on their personal behavior. As stated earlier. structural. cultural and personal degrees of subjugation are all interlinked. Xenoracist ideas can ‘filter through’ ( Thompson. 2006:31 ) from the cultural degree and impact on a societal worker’s pattern with UASC. If societal workers can admit that this happens. actively work against that mechanism. and challenge the negative discourse portrayed of refuge searchers. oppressive behavior within societal work will be reduced. This can besides travel some manner to disputing facets of xenoracism on the cultural degree. When persons jointly challenge xenoracist civilization. they can rarefy constructions that support it ( Thompson. 2006 ) .

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Social workers must ‘operate on the footing of cultural difference non deficit’ ( Thompson. 2006:93 ) . Assessment and intercession must non be based on negative premises. The injury UASC go through earlier go forthing their state of beginning and while going to the UK can take to both physical and mental hurt ( Dorling. 2009 ) . It is incorrect. nevertheless. to presume that all UASC will necessitate intercession to better their mental well-being. This can ‘lead to pigeonholing and a misconception of the existent demands of single refugees’ ( Hek. 2005:15 ) . Many UASC will be improbably resilient. and accordingly will be able to pull off their state of affairs good ( Hek. 2005 ) . As discussed earlier. UASC have really small comparative power due to the surveillance of them by the populace and statutory administrations. Social workers can seek to authorise UASC to back up them to get the better of xenoracism. Empowerment gives people the power to be in control of their lives. and to organize their ain hereafters ( Shardlow. 2009 ) .

Unfortunately. this can be really hard for unaccompanied bush leagues due to the uncertainness they have about their refuge claim. Social workers can seek to authorise UASC by reflecting on how their place in society can impact their relationships with UASC ( Burke and Dalrymple. 2009 ) . As stated above. UASC can try to retain some power by non unwraping issues to societal workers ( Chase. 2009 ) . Social workers should promote UASC to state them their narratives in a manner that they can find the significance and addition control. This will merely be authorising if societal workers are cognizant of the function linguistic communication plays in demoing power derived functions. Social workers must utilize words that the kids understand and relate to. so that UASC can utilize them to depict their state of affairss ( Burke and Dalrymple. 2009 ) .

Interpreters may be an effectual manner of pass oning with UASC in an empowering manner. However. this can besides hold the opposite consequence as many societal workers believe utilizing translators makes it hard to construct a positive relationship with the kid. and consequences in a deficiency of information ( Kriz & A ; Skivenes. 2010 ) . It should be noted here that societal workers have a statutory responsibility in relation to UASC that may conflict with thoughts of AOP. Social workers are involved in in-migration and age appraisal. In many instances. the determinations societal workers make in these countries will non be in the best involvement of the kid. and may even take to exile.

For illustration. the Nationality. Immigration and Asylum Act ( 2002 ) made it a demand that LAs. and hence societal workers. describe any failed refuge searcher or person they suspect is in Britain illicitly to the Home Office ( Humphries. 2004 ) . This can be seen as societal workers actively conveying the attending of the Home Office to an individual’s difference. doing them to be discriminated against. In add-on to anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive pattern. societal workers should be culturally competent ( Parker. 2008 ) . This will take to effectual responses to diverseness factors such as faith. category and ethnicity. whilst valuing service users as persons ( Ben-Ari & A ; Strier. 2010 ) . This can take to UASC feeling included and respected for their differences ( Harrison and Turner. 2011 ) .


Refuge seeking kids can be seen to be oppressed in society due to the power of dominant groups and the negative discourses of refuge searchers portrayed by the authorities and the media. This essay looked into these discourses. and how power derived functions can happen through surveillance of refuge searchers. Social workers. although sometimes holding a statutory responsibility that exacerbates subjugation. can utilize anti oppressive pattern with UASC to assist cut down the extent to which they are oppressed by disputing discourses and trying to authorise the immature people. Cultural competency is besides valuable to societal work pattern with UASC. as it can lend to the inclusion of unaccompanied refuge seeking kids.