A Disabling Asylum System

The restrictions and inequalities imposed on people seeking asylum in the UK prevent people from meeting human needs.

The result is that new impairments are created. Significant mental distress is so common among people in the asylum system as to be considered normal. And people with existing impairments are further disabled.

The UK asylum and immigration system is actively designed to be disabling.

Many of these restrictions are imposed on people seeking asylum before being extended to other groups, including disabled citizens.

Labelling some individuals as 'vulnerable' or 'deserving' may be essential to enabling them to access essential services but does not stop the restrictions.

Instead, we need to bring together the insights and experiences of the disabled people’s movement, people in the asylum and immigration system, and allies of both to build greater solidarity, resistance and create a system in which people are valued on the basis of common humanity.

A mural which is made up of three sections. On the left, a full colour rainbow represents a positive vision of how things could be. In the middle, a rainbow of faded colours represents things changing for either better or worse. On the far right, a grey rainbow represents the worst injustices.
This mural brought together deaf, disabled and asylum seeking people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here

In this film, Deaf, disabled and asylum seeking people highlight the wider relevance of insights and experiences.

You can read this blog post for more about the power of collaborative art in research for social change.

See the page The Social Model for information on the relevance of ideas from the disabled people's movement