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Lives worthy of human dignity: investigating the impact of UK Asylum Policy on the well-being of asylum seekers in the North East of England.

CARROLL, CHRISTINE (2013) Lives worthy of human dignity: investigating the impact of UK Asylum Policy on the well-being of asylum seekers in the North East of England. Masters thesis, Durham University.

PDF (MProf thesis) - Accepted Version


This practitioner research project aims to explore with asylum seekers, their experiences of the UK asylum process. It seeks to identify what the key issues of well-being are for asylum seekers and, to examine these alongside some of the theoretical literature on well-being and existing asylum policy. The research arises from my work over nine years with one project supporting asylum seekers and refugees in North East England.

Using biographical narrative interviews, I explored with ten asylum seekers who were users of the project how they experienced the asylum process while they waited to hear the outcome of their applications, and the effect of their experiences on their emotional and psychological well-being. The narrative interviews located asylum seekers' experiences of the UK asylum process within the context of their whole lives. This provided insights into the interconnectedness of past, present and imagined future, and the impact this had on people's psychological and emotional well-being as they experienced the asylum process. An analysis of some of the theoretical literature on well-being provided a foundation for gaining an understanding of the concept of well-being, and a touchstone for the analysis and discussion of participants' accounts of their experiences.

Findings indicated that two sets of issues need to be simultaneously addressed in order to make provision for asylum seekers' psychological and emotional well-being, incorporating: (i) changes in policy; and (ii) changes in how current policy is implemented. Acknowledging the depth and complexity of the psychological and emotional impact of seeking asylum, a recommendation at practitioner level would be to introduce a mentoring scheme for asylum seekers throughout the asylum process, and particularly through the transition from asylum seeker to integration in the UK.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Professional Practice
Keywords:asylum, asylum seekers, asylum policy and practice, well-being, capabilities theory, biographic narrative interpretive method, human dignity
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 Sep 2013 10:26

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