United Kingdom

Political System

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy which has bicameral parliament. The United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It can be divided into three parts:

  • The Monarch: The Monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, acts as the head of state and head of nation. She has no legislative power but acts as a figurehead for national identity and stability. Her functions are mostly ceremonial.[i]

  • The House of Lords: The second chamber of the Parliament. Members of the Lords are appointed for life based on experience or connections. Working with the House of Commons, the House of Lords consider laws and public policy and hold the government to account[ii].

  • The House of Commons: The first chamber of the Parliament. Members of Parliament are elected by the public using a first-past-the-post electoral system every five years[iii]. As of 2016, the United Kingdom has 9,196 electoral divisions. The Prime Minister is the head of the majority party of the House of Commons and the second largest party is officially known as the Opposition[iv].


[i] https://www.royal.uk/role-monarchy

[ii] http://www.parliament.uk/business/lords/work-of-the-house-of-lords/what-the-lords-does/

[iii] http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/voting-systems/

[iv] http://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/principal/government-opposition/

Current Political Leaders (2016)
  • Theresa May is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and has been since July 13, 2016. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party and is appointed by the Queen. She functions as the head of government[i].

  • Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch, though her role is mostly ceremonial. She is head of state and signs bills of Parliament to turn them to laws. Under the constitution, the Queen has no legislative power and acts mostly as a symbol of national unity.[ii]


[i] http://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/principal/government-opposition/

[ii] https://www.royal.uk/role-monarchy

National Statistics
  • Population in 2015: 65,110,000[i] (83% urban, 17% rural[ii])

  • Population Density[iii]:

    • England: 413 people per square kilometer

    • Wales: 149 people per square kilometer

    • Northern Ireland: 135 people per square kilometer

    • Scotland: 48 people per square kilometer

  • Land Area: 241,930 square kilometers[iv]

  • Estimated Per Capita Income: $43,876[v]

  • Racial Breakdown[vi]:

    • White: 87.07%

    • Black: 3.01%

    • Indian: 2.31%

    • Pakistani: 1.86%

  • Unemployment Rate (October 2016): 4.8%[vii]


[i] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates

[ii] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS?locations=GB

[iii] http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/compendiums/compendium-of-uk-statistics/population-and-migration/index.html

[iv] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.TOTL.K2?locations=GB

[v] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=GB

[vi]  "2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2015.

[vii] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment

Refugee Resettlement Program History

[i]

  • 1999: Immigration and Asylum Act was passed to modernize the UK’s immigration process. This Act decreased the time that asylum claimants had to wait and also decreased the benefits given to those who were given asylum.

  • 2000: 58 bodies of Chinese asylum seekers were found in a refrigerated lorry. They suffocated while trying to illegally enter the UK. This incident made the Home Office aware that migrants were abusing the asylum process to enter the labor market, and that one way of controlling this was to manage the amount of low-skilled workers entering the country. This spurred Parliament to fix the current asylum and refugee programs.

  • 2002: Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act is passed. It amends problematic features of the Immigration and Asylum Act and creates the general framework for defining the eligibility of asylum seekers and refugees.

  • 2004: Gateway Protection Programme was created under the guidelines of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act. It created a quota of refugees to be allowed into the UK[ii].


[i] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jan/13/immigration-asylum-act

[ii] http://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/FMRpdfs/FMR30/49-51.pdf

Refugee Resettlement Program Funding

Gateway Protection Programme

The Gateway Protection Programme is funded by the Home Office and services are given to the eight NGOs which form the Resettlement Inter-Agency Partnership.

 

Mandate Refugee Scheme

The Mandate Refugee Scheme also receives funding from the Home Office. Travel for MRS refugees is funded by the Refugee Team[i].

 

Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme

The Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme is located in the Home Office. Recently, the Official Development Assistance budget allocated 421 million pounds to pay for all 20,000 refugees’ first year in the UK. [ii]


[i] http://www.unhcr.org/40ee6fc04.pdf

[ii] https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Syrian-Vulnerable-Persons-Resettlement-programme.pdf

Resettlement Data 2002-2014

In the 2014 data, figures between 1 and 4 have been replaced with an asterisk (*). These represent situations where the figures are being kept confidential to protect the anonymity of individuals. Such figures are not included in any totals.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN                                      # SETTLED 2002-2014

Afghanistan

15426

Angola

1

Burundi

4

Congo

420

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

134

Eritrea

6*

Ethiopia

282

Iran (Islamic Rep. of)

8

Iraq

274

Liberia

1

Mauritania

53

Myanmar

126

Pakistan

1

Palestinian

*

Rwanda

1

Somalia

572

Stateless

1

Sudan

222*

Syrian Arab Rep.

143

Various/unknown

*

Asylum Seekers Recognized

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

2012

2013

2014

TOTAL

Afghanistan

376

300

608*

1284*

Angola

7

6

5*

18*

Albania

119

181

111*

411*

United Arab Emirates

0

0

*

*

Argentina

0

0

*

*

Armenia

2

4

6*

12*

Antigua and Barbuda

0

0

*

*

Australia

0

3

*

3*

Azerbaijan

7

6

10*

23*

Burundi

0

2

*

2*

Belgium

0

0

*

*

Benin

1

0

*

1*

Burkina Faso

1

2

*

3*

Bangladesh

57

50

88*

195*

Bulgaria

0

0

*

*

Bahrain

30

13

8*

51*

Bosnia and Herzegovina

0

0

*

*

Belarus

3

16

21*

40*

Belize

1

0

*

1*

Brazil

0

0

*

*

Barbados

1

0

*

1*

Bolivia

1

1

*

2*

Bhutan

8

5

*

13*

Botswana

0

0

*

*

Central African Rep.

0

2

*

2*

Canada

1

3

*

4*

Chile

0

0

*

*

China

98

98

71*

267*

Côte d'Ivoire

23

32

20*

75*

Cameroon

42

58

49*

149*

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

97

95

97*

289*

Congo

7

10

6*

23*

Colombia

2

2

*

4*

Comoros

2

1

*

3*

Costa Rica

0

0

*

*

Cuba

4

1

*

5*

Cyprus

0

0

*

*

Czech Rep.

0

0

*

*

Germany

0

0

*

*

Djibouti

0

0

*

*

Dominica

0

0

*

*

Dominican Republic

0

0

*

*

Algeria

26

25

24*

75*

Ecuador

0

1

*

1*

Egypt

83

87

44*

214*

Eritrea

665

851

2233*

3749*

Western Sahara

0

0

*

*

Spain

0

1

*

1*

Ethiopia

59

85

75

219

United Kingdom

3

2

0

5

Georgia

5

3

*

8*

Ghana

18

11

14*

43*

Guinea

18

29

22

69

Gambia

143

127

166*

436*

Guinea-Bissau

1

0

*

1*

Equatorial Guinea

0

0

*

*

Greece

0

0

*

*

Grenada

2

1

*

3*

Guatemala

0

0

*

*

Guyana

3

3

*

6*

Honduras

1

1

*

2*

Croatia

0

0

*

*

Haiti

0

0

*

*

Hungary

0

0

5*

5*

Indonesia

1

0

*

1*

India

24

18

7*

49*

Iran (Islamic Rep. of)

1674

1547

1418*

4639*

Iraq

101

131

211*

443*

Israel

0

0

*

*

Italy

0

0

*

*

Jamaica

22

7

21*

40*

Jordan

2

3

*

5*

Japan

1

0

*

1*

Kazakhstan

2

0

*

2*

Kenya

17

23

27*

67*

Kyrgyzstan

6

5

*

11*

Saint Kitts and Nevis

0

0

*

*

Rep. of Korea

0

1

*

1*

Kuwait

45

37

29*

111*

Lao People's Dem. Rep.

0

0

*

*

Lebanon

9

8

13*

30*

Liberia

4

4

*

8*

Libya

111

198

122*

431*

Saint Lucia

1

0

*

1*

Sri Lanka

776

732

288*

1796*

Lesotho

0

0

*

*

Lithuania

0

0

*

*

Latvia

0

0

*

*

Morocco

8

11

6*

25*

Rep. of Moldova

0

0

*

*

Madagascar

0

0

*

*

Maldives

4

3

*

7*

Mexico

3

1

*

4*

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

0

0

*

*

Mali

0

3

*

3*

Myanmar

74

27

50*

151*

Montenegro

0

0

*

*

Mongolia

2

4

*

6*

Mauritania

0

2

*

2*

Mauritius

3

4

*

7*

Malawi

23

23

13*

59*

Malaysia

15

7

9*

31*

Namibia

4

2

*

6*

Niger

1

1

*

2*

Nigeria

139

141

220*

500*

Nauru

0

3

0

3

Nicaragua

0

0

*

*

Netherlands

0

0

*

*

Norway

0

0

*

*

Nepal

0

0

*

*

New Zealand

0

0

*

*

Oman

0

0

*

*

Pakistan

883

912

962*

2757*

Panama

0

0

*

*

Peru

0

0

*

*

Phillippines

0

0

*

*

Poland

0

0

*

*

Dem. People's Rep. of Korea

16

11

0

27

Portugal

0

0

*

*

Paraguay

0

0

*

*

Palestinian

37

41

65*

143*

Russian Federation

12

43

33*

88*

Rwanda

2

9

17*

28*

Saudi Arabia

15

9

6*

30*

Sudan

531

516

907*

1954*

Senegal

13

10

*

23*

Singapore

1

0

*

1*

Sierra Leone

14

38

26*

78*

El Salvador

0

1

*

1*

Somalia

403

333

209*

945*

Serbia and Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999))

6

5

6*

17*

South Sudan

0

0

*

*

Slovakia

0

0

*

*

Sweden

0

0

*

*

Swaziland

4

4

8*

16*

Syrian Arab Rep.

971

1454

1405*

3830*

Chad

2

1

*

3*

Togo

1

4

*

5*

Thailand

1

1

*

2*

Tajikistan

0

0

*

*

Turkmenistan

1

0

*

1*

Tunisia

0

0

*

*

Trinidad and Tobago

6

1

5*

12*

Tunisia

2

4

*

6*

Turkey

57

59

71*

187*

United Rep. of Tanzania

3

3

*

6*

Uganda

140

104

156*

400*

Ukraine

13

11

*

24*

United States of America

3

3

5*

11*

Uzbekistan

11

9

*

20*

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

4

1

*

5*

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

5

0

5*

10*

Viet Nam

32

51

65*

148*

Samoa

0

0

*

*

Stateless

252

224

225*

701*

Various/Unknown

9

5

5*

19*

Yemen

22

34

13*

69*

South Africa

4

5

*

9*

Zambia

4

6

6*

16*

Zimbabwe

198

135

66*

399*

Resettlement Destinations

[i]

  • Yorkshire and Humber region are set to take 1,500 Syrian refugees

  •  225 refugees have settled in Leeds

  • 110-130 refugees are settling in Kirklees

  • 100 refugees are settling in East Yorkshire

  • London will be taking in 521 Syrian refugees

  • Lancashire will be taking in 600 Syrian refugees

  • Gloucestershire will be 560 Syrian refugees

  • Kent will be taking 520 Syrian refugees


[i] http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35103434

Refugee Resettlement Diagram

Refugee Resettlement Program Overview

Gateway Protection Programme

This programme was created in 2004, with the initial goal to settle 500 refugees per year. Later, the quota was raised to 750 refugees. The programme is operated by UK Visas and Immigration[i] and is funded by the Home Office. It works in conjunction with the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as well as several non-governmental organizations[ii]. The UNHCR identifies refugees and refers them to the Home Office, which interviews the applicants and any dependents and determines their eligibility. The IOM brings the refugees safely to the airport where they are met by Refugee Council and brought to their new home. The Refugee Council, along with several other organizations, helps the refugees adjust during their first year[iii]. Eight NGOs provide services for the programme: The British Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Migrant Helpline, Refugee Action, Refugee Arrivals Project, the Refugee Council, Refugee Housing Association, and the Scottish Refugee Council. They came together to form the Resettlement Inter-Agency Partnership to pool resources and maintain a national overview and a cost-effective manner[iv].

 

Mandate Refugee Scheme

A mandate refugee is someone who is recognized as a refugee by the UNHCR. This program allows refugees with family ties to the UK to resettle there. The Refugee Team is in charge of funding the travel of MRS refugees when there is no other funding available[v]. In order to be resettled as a mandate refugee, the applicant must have immediate family already living in the UK, either children under the age of 18 or parents or grandparents over the age of 65[vi].

 

Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme

This program was initially launched in September, 2015 by the former Prime Minister Cameron Davis. He committed to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020. Between September 2015 and March 2016, the programme settled an average of 248 refugees per month. Since March 2016, the programme has settled an average of 348 refugees per month[vii]. The United Kingdom’s Official Development Assistance budget is allocating 421 million pounds to pay for the first year in the UK for all 20,000 refugees[viii]. As of June 2016, 2,659 refugees had been resettled[ix]. The programme is located in the Home Office but is operated by the Home Office, the Department for International Development, and the Department for Communities and Local Government. The programme creates the criteria of refugees and the UNHCR submits the case files of refugees who meet these criteria. Once the refugees are screened and accepted, they undergo a medical assessment done by the International Organisation for Migration, the results of which are sent to local authorities to estimate costs. The IOM begins the application process for a visa, which is issued by UK Visas Immigration International. Biometric Residence permits are issued to the refugees, granting them five years of humanitarian protection, which offers them the same rights and benefits as refugees under the GPP[x].

 

Total Processing Time:

Processing time for all programs is variable based on individual cases.


[i] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gateway-protection-programme-information-for-organisations/gateway-protection-programme

[ii] http://www.resettlement.eu/sites/icmc.tttp.eu/files/gateway_prot_oct04.pdf

[iii] http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/what_we_do/refugee_services/resettlement_programme/refugee_resettlement_the_facts

[iv] http://www.resettlement.eu/sites/icmc.tttp.eu/files/gateway_prot_oct04.pdf

[v] http://www.unhcr.org/40ee6fc04.pdf

[vi] http://www.unhcr.org/40ee6fc04.pdf

[vii] https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Syrian-Vulnerable-Persons-Resettlement-programme.pdf

[viii] https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Syrian-Vulnerable-Persons-Resettlement-programme.pdf

[ix] https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Syrian-Vulnerable-Persons-Resettlement-programme.pdf

[x] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/472020/Syrian_Resettlement_Fact_Sheet_gov_uk.pdf

Lead Resettlement Organizations

British Red Cross[i]

Established: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was established in 1863. The British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War was created in 1870 and officially became the British Red Cross in 1905.

Funding: The British Red Cross receives funding in part from the government[ii], but mostly from fundraising efforts and donations[iii].

Office locations: British Red Cross, UK Office, London EC2Y 9AL 

Leadership & Contacts:

            Chief executive: Mike Adamson

            Executive director of UK operations: Norman McKinley

Affiliates & Partners[iv]

            Aviva

            Canon Europe

            Co-op

            Corporation of London

            DNV GL

            Elastoplast

            Electronic Arts

            Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

            H&M

            Inverstar

            John Lewis Partnership

            Land Rover

            Marsh and McLennan Companies

            Ryder

            Tesco

            The Snowman and the Snowdog

    

     

Refugee Council

Established: The Refugee Council was established in 1951 following the UN Convention for Refugees.

Funding: The Refugee Council is funded primarily by donations, both from individuals and corporations and in the form of grants from trusts and foundations. It also receives some funding from government at all levels, from local to the European Government.

Office locations: Stratford E15 4BQ, UK

Responsibilities and Functions: The Refugee Council provides help for the issues for which refugees do not receive funds or services, such as obtaining the necessary identification and documentation, financial stability, health and wellbeing, access to settled housing, and receiving education or training. The Refugee Council is also one of the NGOs which offers support for refugees in the Gateway Resettlement Programme.

Leadership & Contacts:

            Chief Executive

            Maurice Wren

            Executive Director of Services

            Una Marry MBE

            Head of Advocacy

            Lisa Doyle

 

Migrant Help[i] 

Established: 1963 by Helen Ellis

Funding: Generally funded by donations, by the support of trusts and foundations, and through corporate partnerships.

Office locations: Dover CT16 1AT

Responsibilities and Functions: Migrant Help offers advice to those applying for asylum, support for victims of human trafficking, information of rights for those in immigration detention centers, and advice for foreign national prisoners. For asylum seekers, Migrant Help provides financial support, legal representation, accommodation support, and helps find access to health care.

Leadership & Contacts:

            Interim CEO: Catherine Johnstone


[i] http://www.migranthelpuk.org/

[i] http://www.redcross.org.uk/

[ii] http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/News/2015/February/Government-funds-extra-Red-Cross-AandE-support

[iii] http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Our-fundraisers

[iv] http://www.redcross.org.uk/Get-involved/Corporate-support/Corporate-partners



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