I have copied this to you on statelessness to alert you to the scale of the problem in Britain. It is a massive problem in the world – people who cannot claim nationality from any country and find themselves in limbo, often persecuted and discriminated against, unable to access education and services that we take for granted. In UK statelessness may be at the root of failed asylum seekers who the Home Office cannot repatriate yet refuses them any kind of leave to remain, leaving them in a state of destitution and limbo for years and years often. Worse, such people may be in detention for long periods then fail entry when the HO attempt at repatriation fails. They then risk destitution in the UK without permission to work and denied support. A miserable existence for many such people left without hope here in C21st Britain with our perception of openness and humanitarian assistance to persecuted people. Reality is very different.
Although the UK has a Statelessness process – inadequate though it is, few people are able to make successful applications due to various obstacles which make it very difficult to access. And for the handful of people who do, the success rate is around 5% or so.
This is hidden, miserable problem which destroys people. One asylum seeker I know of has been in UK since 2002, been denied permission to work since 2008 and left destitute by the HO and without any kind of LTR. Understandably, his mental health is very poor – just think back yourself to 2002 then reflect on not being allowed to work and being denied support for 15 years ! It is shocking.
I hope this blog helps you to start to appreciate the problem faced by such people. Do sign up yourself for such blogs/emails from the European Network on Statelessness. If you already receive it, then do as I have done and pass it on to some people who may be unaware of this awful issue which the HO, our Home Office, is failing to deal with. The despair of such people is profound and complete. Thanks for reading this.