Sonmez Efe (2023) Written evidence submitted by Dr Sureyya Sonmez Efe (ASU0009): Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK

Sonmez Efe, Sureyya (2023) Sonmez Efe (2023) Written evidence submitted by Dr Sureyya Sonmez Efe (ASU0009): Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK. [Impact]

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Sonmez Efe (2023) Written evidence submitted by Dr Sureyya Sonmez Efe (ASU0009): Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK
Parliamentary evidence
SSEFE_EvidencePaper.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Impact
Item Status:Live Archive


1.1.Asylum Seekers and Refugees are migrant groups who are prone to difficult living conditions, and exploitation in the labour market which deteriorates their existing vulnerabilities. There are identified practical barriers such as lack of money[1], lengthy processing of asylum claims, precarious accommodation arrangements, legal status, and limited access to decent jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic deteriorated these vulnerabilities as a result of limited or no support from governmental and non-governmental organisations.

1.2. Asylum Seekers and Refugees are not a homogeneous group that includes people from various professional backgrounds. The recent data on employment and the labour market in the UK[2] has shown that migrants’ legal status is crucial for having decent work and practising their professions according to their qualifications and work experience. Doctors with Asylum Seekers and Refugee statuses are the groups that are addressed in this evidence paper.

1.3. The analysis of Doctors on Asylum Seeker and Refugee statuses in the UK suggests that the ‘temporariness’ of their legal status contributes to the erosion of their right to decent work and practising their medical profession and increase their vulnerabilities in the UK as a result of lack of decent living conditions. Medical doctors are addressed to be one of the most needed workforces in the healthcare sector[3] and it becomes imperative for the UK government to act strategically to integrate these health professionals into the labour force with practical and durable solutions[4].

1.4. The pandemic reemphasised the retention and recruitment crisis in the NHS which shows us that durable policy remedies become vital. The benefits of the creation of legal pathways for enabling doctors with Asylum Seeker and Refugee statuses to work in the NHS are twofold: these doctors will be granted a right to work in a decent job and thus have a decent life in the host country, and it will partly offer a solution to NHS’s staff shortages as requalifying a Refugee doctor is proven to be more cost-effective.

1.5. The medical Support Worker (MSW) Scheme is introduced during the pandemic to recruit retired doctors or doctors without GMC registration during the pandemic. There are over 400 doctors who have been recruited as MSWs in NHS England who do not have GMC registration due to retirement or having overseas qualifications which also gave hope to Refugee Doctors to step into the NHS system while waiting for the GMC registration process[5]. Doctors with Asylum Seekers status are also eligible to work as MSW after their 12 months stay in the UK. The benefits of this scheme are unprecedented, as it enables doctors with Asylum Seeker and Refugee status to have a pathway to practice their profession in NHS, thus, preventing them from remaining out of medical practice for a long period as their Asylum claims are processed.

1.6. MSW is a pathway for the economic integration of doctors on Asylum Seeker and Refugee statuses which is in line with UNHCR's durable solutions. Host countries are vital for ensuring safety, protection, security, rights, and social justice.

Keywords:Asylum seekers, refugee doctors, human rights, living conditions, The Medical Support Worker Scheme, Right to work
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L432 Welfare Policy
M Law > M110 UK Legal Systems
Divisions:COLLEGE OF ARTS, SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:55068
Deposited On:15 Sep 2023 09:28

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