Refugee and Migrant Justice is a charity who provide free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants in the UK, including victims of trafficking and separated children. They are, in their own words, “the largest specialist provider of advice and representation to asylum seekers and other migrants needing protection or other help to secure their human rights. As well as helping individual clients, we use our considerable expertise to campaign for positive changes.”
They are facing possible closure because of bureaucratic rules that result in the Government not paying promptly for asylum and immigration legal work. A new system of payment of legal aid means that payments are only made when stages of cases are closed. In RMJ’s case, that is on average six months after work is started and can take up to two years due to delays in the asylum system. As they say, “We are not asking for more money, just prompt payment of what we are due.”
If they close, 10,000 asylum seekers will be left without the legal advice and representation they desperately need to get a fair hearing in a system that is characterised by a culture of disbelief. They have fled torture, persecution, widespread violence, and the threat of death. 900 of them are children; many have been trafficked.
If you would like to help out, there is more information including a campaign leaflet available to download at their website, along with a letter template for you to write to the relevant ministries and your MP. You can also join the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.