The ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ Condition Paints a Bleak Picture for Migrant Children in the UK

jesse456 (Posted by) Level 3
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Many children of migrants continue to face the unjust realities of homelessness, poverty and destitution in the UK as migrant families struggle to find a legislative safety net under current strict immigration rules. Amidst the complexities of reasons why migrant families often fall into destitution is the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ condition; a prohibitive clause which strips away an individual’s access to welfare benefits, public housing or homelessness assistance if they are ‘subject to immigration control’.

Yet, this category does not simply include ‘illegal’ or undocumented migrants who have outstayed or been refused their visa. It encompasses legal, documented migrants who have a valid limited leave to enter or remain, in addition to asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers who instead must rely on the often inadequate financial and housing support from the Home Office.

NRPF - Condition - Migrants - Work - UK

Whilst the NRPF condition may not necessarily be problematic for self-sufficient migrants who study, work or live in the UK, it fails to address numerous migrants who are unable to support themselves or have had their immigration status changed after the collapse of employment arrangements or support networks.

Living in destitution is therefore a tragically common outcome, with the NRPF condition blockading an individual’s ability to access interim accommodation and temporary housing or apply for homelessness support. According to The Children’s Society, just over 50,000 individuals with dependants in the years 2013–2015 were given a NRPF condition despite the fact that they had leave to remain in the UK.

Safety - Net - Child - Destitution - Section

Acting as the legislative safety net against child destitution, Section 17 of the 1989 Children Act imposes a responsibility on local authorities to provide financial and housing support for children – and their families with NRPF – where their standard of health or development is impaired.

Yet, while research suggests 6,000 children in families with NRPF to currently be supported...
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