J J Ellison

Salvation Army backs call for asylum seekers' right to work

The Salvation Army is backing a campaign to allow asylum seekers to work.

As part of the Lift the Ban coalition of businesses, charities, trade unions and faith groups, the church is calling on the Home Secretary to restore the right to work to for people seeking asylum in the UK.

At the moment, asylum seekers are not allowed to work while their applications are being considered.

The Lift the Ban coalition though, says annual government immigration statistics show that the number of people waiting more than six months for a decision on their asylum claim has risen to record levels.

It says this means people are not able to work for long periods meaning they are forced to live in poverty, often for many years.

Major Nick Coke, National Refugee Response Coordinator and church leader at The Salvation Army told Premier:

"We believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to society and integrating into communities, as well as having the opportunity to better support their families. This is why The Salvation Army is part of the coalition calling on the Government to 'lift the ban' and give people seeking asylum in the UK the right to work - and the right to use their skills and live in dignity."

If the change were accepted by the government, the Lift the Ban coalition says people would be able to earn a living, exercise their skills, contribute to the economy and integrate with local communities while they wait for a decision on their asylum application.

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