Family units can become fragmented as people flee and seek asylum. Recognised refugees (those granted ‘Refugee Status’ by the UKBA) and those who have been given humanitarian protection are allowed to be reunited with family members.
For these purposes the term ‘family’ generally extends to those who are dependent on the refugee; a spouse, partner or children under 18, who were part of the family unit before they left their home country.
In exceptional circumstances other applications for other family members may be considered.
More information on the process of family reunion for refugees in the UK can be found on the website of the UK Borders Agency: here.
Refugee’s right to family life is protected by Article 16 of the Human Rights Act
“The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”
More information on human rights for refugees and other groups can be found here.
The Human Rights Act requires countries to facilitate the movement of people for the purpose of family reunification particularly in the case of refugees. Most countries have measures in place to reunite refugee parents with their children. More here.
Despite these rights many refugees have a long struggle to be reunited with their families.
Common obstacles include:
- being unaware of their rights and unable to navigate the complex legal system in the UK
- not knowing the location of their family or being able to contact them (in these cases most people make use of the Red Cross tracing service)
- difficulty proving the relationship to the children especially when documents have become lost or invalid as people flee
- not being able to afford the legal costs, costs of DNA tests or even the travel itself
The Refugee Welcome Trust believes that after all this families should not be kept apart through lack of financial resources. We want to help all refugees looking to reunite their family through providing funding and services.
We can only do this with your help.
To make a donation now please text ’RWTD’ and the amount to 70070.
Donations can be made of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 and there will be an opportunity for you to add Gift Aid.
For other ways to donate please visit our donation page.
To read more about refugee family reunion in the news and the stories of individuals please follow our blog.