Refugees Family Reunion Bill – let’s get refugee families united

For people who have fled war and persecution, finding safety in the UK should mean the chance to rebuild shattered lives. But many refugees find it almost impossible to focus on the future while they remain separated from their families.

This separation can drag on for years because of the UK’s restrictive rules on refugee family reunion.

A joint report, issued today by the Refugee Council and Oxfam, shows that refugees who are living here without their families can become desperate, even suicidal, when their loved ones are still facing danger overseas.

On March 16 MPs will have a vital opportunity to call on the Government to allow more refugee families to be reunited. Please take just two minutes to tell your MP that you want this to be considered by filling in this automatic form – you just need to complete your name and address:

https://action.refugeecouncil.org.uk/savethedate/

Refugee families are torn apart by war. Take action to help bring them together.

#FamiliesTogether

Technical notes:

https://d1tn3vj7xz9fdh.cloudfront.net/s3fs-public/file_attachments/rr-safe-but-not-settled-refugees-uk-310118-en.pdf

https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/refugeesfamilyreunionno2.html

 

https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/assets/0003/9779/ja-together-again-refugee-family-reunion-uk-280217-en-EMBARGO.pdf

Primary key messages

  • For people who have fled war and persecution, finding safety in the UK should mean the chance to rebuild shattered lives. But many refugees find it almost impossible to focus on the future while they remain separated from their families.
  • Our report shows that refugees who are living here without their families can become desperate, even suicidal, when their loved ones are still facing danger overseas. This prevents them being able to integrate into their communities here.
  • But our report also shows that when refugee families are reunited, lives are saved and transformed. Families can begin to pick up the pieces and settle into their new communities, often very quickly.
  • The UK Government could help more refugee families to live together, focus on the future and rebuild their lives together in safety by changing the unfair and restrictive rules that prevent some families from reuniting
  • We can reunite families torn apart by war and persecution if MPs vote to change the unfair rules that keep refugees in the UK apart from those they love. The Refugees Family Reunion Bill returns to Parliament on 16 March

Secondary messages

  • Three quarters of the families featured in this research were struggling with feelings of worry, guilt or mental illness due to their separation from family members.
  • A fifth of the cases were more extreme, with refugees having suicidal thoughts, self-harming or never leaving their homes.
  • Separation from family members also had practical consequences, with refugees taking on extra caring responsibilities that restricted the time they spent on other activities like learning English, volunteering or socializing