The Refugee Rights Data Project report “Still Waiting” underlines the importance of the work of the Refugee Info Bus to meet basic human rights
New data gathered by the Refugee Rights Data Project has highlighted an alarming need for more accurate, easily accessible legal information to help refugees in the Calais “Jungle” understand their situation and make plans for the future.
Nearly half of the survey participants said they struggled to find information on how to legally access the UK, and 16% were looking to find information on alternatives for seeking asylum in other countries. This gap in information holds refugees back from seeing their basic human rights met, as the right to seek asylum is a universal right for those fleeing conflict, persecution and discrimination.
The Refugee Info Bus has been working in Calais since 2015 helping to meet this need for legal
information, but this research shows that these essential services (reliant on the support of volunteers and donations) are not enough to meet the needs of everyone living in the camp. Scaling up is essential to provide legal information in more languages and to more individuals and families, including children.
The Refugee Info Bus runs workshops every day in English, Arabic and Pashtu, and other languages whenever possible, on the process of claiming asylum. Providing access to WiFi and laptops enable refugees to source their own information, talk to family and friends, and develop skills for rebuilding their lives.
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Still Waiting: Snapshot of Key Findings
The largest research effort surrounding refugees and displaced people in the region to date, Still Waiting has shed light on why refugees want to go to the UK, what information is most needed by inhabitants of the Calais camp, and the situation facing children.
The report contains data from 589 surveys with camp residents, around 6.5% of the camp inhabitants, covering all major nationalities and proportionately representing men and women.
Why do refugees want to go to the UK?
Speaking the language: 32.1% of all respondents sought to reach the UK because they can speak English
Getting an education: 28.7% believed that the UK provides better education opportunities than other countries
Reaching family: 21.4% had family in the UK.
What information is most valuable to refugees?
How to legally enter the UK: 46.7% of respondents were seeking information about how they could access the UK legally, rather than illegally.
What alternatives are there to going to the UK? 16.3% of respondents enquired about which country/city in Europe might be the best alternative destination for them to seek asylum.
How to access healthcare? Alarmingly, 11.9% sought information about health care.
What is the situation facing minors in the Calais camp?
Living under dangerous conditions: 9.77% of minors reported to have been in the camp for more than one year, living under conditions that are highly unsuitable for children due to the unmet humanitarian standards, human rights infringements and overall health and security dangers.
Family in the UK: 20.3% of the surveyed minors reported to have family in the UK making it highly likely that they are eligible for safe passage and family reunification.