Amnesty appalled at new findings showing destitution among Zimbabweans seeking refuge in UK

Amnesty International UK today said it was ‘appalled’ at the findings of new research from the Jospeh Rowntree Charitable Trust, showing a massive rise in destitution among refused asylum seekers, particularly Zimbabweans.

The survey, conducted in Leeds, showed that Zimbabweans now form the single biggest national group of destitute asylum seekers in the city (21% of 331 after an increase from 4 to 56 in 18 months).

Amnesty International UK Refugee Programme Director Jan Shaw said:

“It’s appalling that Zimbabweans are left destitute on our streets when they have come to the UK looking for sanctuary.

“British politicians are rightly quick to condemn the atrocities taking place in Zimbabwe but slow to help those who come to us seeking our help.

“Zimbabwe is not safe and we should not force people to make a choice between persecution and destitution. They should be given leave to remain here for a year and a day and allowed to work to support themselves.”

View latest press releases