Sisters Not Strangers – a coalition of eight organisations – surveyed over 100 women seeking asylum in England and Wales to learn about how they are surviving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their new report – ‘Hear Us’ – highlights some of the serious challenges women seeking asylum have faced during the pandemic.
The report reveals that three quarters of those surveyed went hungry during the pandemic, with many struggling to feed their children. Over a fifth of respondents also said that self-isolation was impossible as they were forced to sleep in the same room as a non-family member. Over 30% also shared that they struggled to afford soap and other hygiene products.
The report goes on to recommend a grant of leave to remain to all those with insecure immigration status, to ensure the safety of people seeking asylum, to protect public health and to enable British society to rebuild more equally. Subsequent recommendations include: a meaningful increase in asylum support rates; safe accommodation; the right to work for people seeking asylum.