A refugee is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. A refugee is someone who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war and/or persecution.
The 1951 Geneva Convention defines a refugee as someone who… Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race,religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality, is outside the country of his former habitual residence [….], is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.
In the UK, a person is granted refugee status after they have claimed asylum. This is usually called Leave to Remain, and after 5 years they can apply for citizenship.
An asylum seeker is someone who has applied to the Government for asylum (safety) in the UK. An asylum seeker is waiting for the Government to make that decision. They are not allowed to work, have restrictions placed on their movement and on their access to education (including English classes). In the Northwest they are housed by the company SERCO and receive just under £38/week to live off.
These stories are written by local refugees themselves, and based on personal experience.
Where refugees come from
Refugees come from many different countries, where there is war, conflict, insecurity, human rights abuses and violence. People come for many different reasons. Below is some general information about the countries refugees are fleeing from.refugees from Lancaster have contributed to the country profiles