The Effect Of Ayslum Policy On Social Exclusion In The Uk

3362 words - 13 pages

The Effect of Ayslum Policy on Social Exclusion in the UK

This essay will discuss what asylum policy is, and how it has
increased levels of social exclusion in the UK, where I will use
specific examples from health and housing. Though, first, one must
understand the term asylum seekers which applies to someone who has
applied for asylum in this country, their application has been
accepted as worthy of consideration and is being processed. In
comparison, a refugee is someone who has been granted asylum or
‘exceptional leave to remain’ here. It is important to distinguish
between two because refugees have more rights than asylum seekers. For
example, a refugee can engage in paid employment.

Again, one must clarify what ‘social exclusion’ is. As defined by
Gordon and Townsend (2000), they believe that ‘social exclusion’ is
not a state but a process. In December 1997, the Social Exclusion Unit
(SEU) was set up for two years in the first instance, based in the
Cabinet Office and reporting to the Prime Minister. The aim of the
Unit is to develop coordinated policies to address social exclusion,
described as joined-up policies for joined-up problems. It has no
spending budget, since its purpose is to make recommendations to the
contributory government departments, with a view to directing existing
funding more effectively. The ‘socially’ excluded are understood to be
a group outside ‘mainsteam society’. Sometimes they are thought as
‘outdide society’ itself. (Gordon and Townsend 2000). Similarly, the
DSS report states that “social exclusion occurs where different
factors combine to trap individuals and areas in a spiral of
disadvantages” (DSS NPI report, 1999, p23).

The United Kingdoms history regarding immigration and asylum seekers
policy shows successive immigration acts were aimed at allowing
certain people to settle here and exclude others. Two significant ones
were. The 1905 Aliens Act: aimed at preventing Jews settling
(relevance of wider historical context) and the 1962 Commonwealth
Immigration Act: response to immigration from former colonies aimed at
excluding ‘black’ immigrants. Effectively this ended primary
immigration to Britain. Also, Britain’s international obligations are
included in the 1951 UN convention on human rights which states that
“those with well-founded fear of persecution must be granted asylum”.
However, the word ‘well-founded’ is open to interpretation.

Social policies aimed at tackling social exclusion of immigrants,
asylum seekers and refugees, so that social justice and equality can
be achieved. This has two main kinds of benefit:

1. helps them to settle and integrate more quickly and provides them
with the support they need to make a life for themselves and their

2. helps to nurture socially responsible citizens who will...

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