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The Oppression of Refugees

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Tom Vickers

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of The Oppression of Refugees

International Context
(Hayes 2005) Concentration
of Ownership
(Lenin [1916] 1975) Uneven Development Imperialism Finance
Capital Division of
the world 5.0 % 2.6% Britain's overseas assets = £6,357.9 billion (2007) 'Managed Migration' 2004/07 - A8/2 'Whiteness' Proximity to return (Datta et al. 2007) 1.4 million registered
300,000 - 800,000 unregistered
(Craig et al. 2007) WRS: ‘transitional measures to regulate A8 nationals’ access to the labour market … and to restrict access to benefits.’ (Home Office 2010) Refugees Agriculture Welfare: 15,000 of 20,000 new nurses 2003-4 from overseas 1/3 of doctors on the register qualified abroad
(Jameson 2005; Kyriakides and Virdee 2003) 1/4 social work recruits 2001-02 qualified abroad, 82% increase during 2003-04 (Welbourne et al. 2007) 1/5 care workers looking after older people migrant workers, & 28% care workers recruited in 2007
(Wilkinson et al. 2009) 1995-1999: Migration from other advanced
capitalist countries = 381,000 Asylum applications = 282,000 Half of whom were refused Humanitarian
Protection 'Disguised
Migrant' 'Illegal
Immigrant' 'Potential
Terrorist' 1999: Dispersal (Griffiths et al. 2005) -2010: Detention expanded over 3,000 (Gill 2009; Silverman 2011) 2002: Prohibition on paid work (Temple et al. 2005) Cheap housing Deprived areas No preparation Evening Chronicle 26 November 2002:
'Police hunt four illegal immigrants:
Asylum seekers go on the run' Racism Media hostility Taming of
sector Separation from
legal employment Survival and
self worth under
capitalism "If they lose their hope they will kill themselves. I didn’t lose my hope yet totally, but sometimes I … say ok, I finish this university, what [else can I] do when I don’t have permission to work? … Just to sit at home or just look at the television or something like that, it kills everyone." (45 years old, arrived 2002) Insecurity and
dependency Compounding
trauma "… maybe they flee their country because they were persecuted, and when they came here they are experiencing the same thing. Because they will never be at rest, they will never be at peace …" (DRC, arrived 2005) "You come with a really optimistic hope that you will get a peaceful life, and you will get a normal life and you will get rid of all the stressful things in your country, and all the pressure, and all the dangers, but when you come here you face with even more difficulties and more problems. And one of the reasons I had a mental breakdown and I spent fourteen months in a psychiatric ward was because of the problems here, because they rejected my asylum claim and they wanted to deport me … I saw no hope, I didn’t want to go to my country, because that was even worse, and was much more terrible … I tried to end my life several times …" (Iran, arrived 2000) Disempowerment: "I don’t have any knowledge to change it; I don’t know what to do …" (Zimbabwe, arrived 2006) Dependency: "I’ve always been independent … but now it’s as if I’m in prison … there’s nothing that proves that I’m an adult, I am just at home, just wait[ing] for somebody to give [things to me] …" (Cameroon, arrived 2008) Survey 1600 Refugees with
Status in W. Midlands: Region Average Wage = £19,296 Top refugee wage = £13,000 More than 50% earned less than
(Phillimore and Goodson 2006;
also WLRI 2005; Bloch 2007) '"For social workers, it is often an easier option to focus on the symptoms of oppression than on causes of oppression", leading to an approach equating "disadvantage" with clients and therefore working to "help disadvantaged blacks", rather than work with clients to challenge the causes of their oppression (Ahmad 1993)' (Whitaker 2006) (Back et al. 2002) (Hynes 2009) References
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(Madden 2009) http://prezi.com/qx9ixhmiuplo/the-oppression-of-refugees/ The contribution of UK asylum and welfare policies to managing the oppression of refugees, and the potential for a radical social work response Tom Vickers tom.b.vickers@gmail.com
Twitter: TomBVickers
northumbria.academia.edu/TomVickers Paper presented to the North East Conference of
the Social Work Action Network (SWAN), Middlesbrough 17 November 2012
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