Pathways to Haven — Abstract

Many of us cannot imagine being forced to leave family and friends for another country, without the right to live or work there — yet it is a reality for refugees. The word forced is important; no one chooses to seek asylum. Not only is becoming a refugee not a choice, it is emotionally, and often physically, taxing.

However, despite the arduous journeys many take to the UK, the way forward once here is no easier. Asylum seekers are treated with suspicion, the onus being on them to exhaustively prove the legitimacy of their claim. For those who manage to do so, support and guidance is minimal and social mobility a huge issue.

This project maps the pathways of people who have navigated the asylum process in the UK, and struggled with homelessness along the way. It seeks to humanise asylum seekers; illustrating the challenges and injustices they have encountered. We hope to increase awareness, shift public opinion, and eventually government policy, toward greater support for asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. Mapping these pathways can inform charities and policy makers alike in improving the social mobility of a group often denied so much that we take for granted.