Study highlights harm mothers and their children experience in the UK asylum system
6 June 2022
A PhD research student at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences has found that relationships between mothers and children are strained by the UK’s asylum system, with little support available for mothers.
The paper, written by Laura Shobiye and Samuel Parker, and published by Ethnic and Racial Studies also found that uncertainty in the state’s immigration and asylum system may be a tool used to exert control over asylum seekers and refugees.
The study, written as part of Shobiye’s PhD, highlights how policies may be directed at adults seeking asylum, negatively impacting their children and family relationships.
Citing the ‘hostile environment’ policy, Shobiye’s research found evidence that mothers and children are subjected to an abusive system.
“The situation for asylum seekers is getting worse and the ‘othering’ of asylum seekers is harmful. They are people, just like ‘us’.
“There is a lot of compassion in Wales and much determination to be a true ‘Nation of Sanctuary’, countering the harsh approach from the Home Office.
She has also recently produced a report on the relationship between education and wellbeing for sanctuary-seeking mothers in Wales.
The report has been circulated to the Welsh Government and the working group for Cardiff’s University of Sanctuary project.
Her future work will continue to address the issues facing asylum seekers with the aim of influencing government policy within Wales.
Shobiye concluded, “bell hooks once wrote that oppression is the removal of choice.
“When mothers are forced to seek asylum in the UK, they have no choice. Sanctuary should liberate mothers and provide a better future for their children, instead we have an asylum system that continues to oppress.”