84 Why UK asylum advocacy should take citizens’ complaints seriously
Authors: Sam Ray
Publication date: October 2012
The frustration of tabloid readers with the cost of asylum to the UK’s welfare system is often dismissed as bigotry among the pro-asylum lobby. In fact, there are compelling moral arguments for taking this frustration seriously and this Working Paper argues that engagement should be of higher concern for asylum advocacy organisations as the prioritisation of UK citizens and inclusion of newcomers are in fact not always at odds with one another.
Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the paper and definitions of the terms used. Chapter 2 focuses on why hostile citizens’ sense of neglect should matter to asylum advocacy. First it establishes that there is a widespread, real complaint among UK citizens that they are inadequately prioritised over asylum seekers where welfare is concerned. Second, it shows that a variety of moral theorists believe such complaints must be given considerable moral weight because of the heavy implications for human wellbeing and safety if they are ignored.
Chapter 3 argues that mainstream asylum advocacy organisations are doing very little to engage citizens’ sense of neglect. The Refugee Council is used as a case study to illustrate the lack of engagement among most of its peers. Aiming to be concise and constructive, the paper examines two further organisations, City of Sanctuary Sheffield and Citizens UK, who provide positive examples of what engagement can look like.
Download here: wp84-uk-asylum-advocacy-citizens-complaints-151012.pdf