Glossary of useful terms
An asylum seeker is someone who has lodged an application for international protection under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and is awaiting a decision from the ( UK) Government.
Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can apply for accommodation and/or subsistence support from the Home Office. Home Office accommodation is provided on a no-choice basis in a number of dispersal areas around the UK. Glasgow is currently the only dispersal area in Scotland. If an asylum seekers has additional care needs due to chronic illness or disability they may also be eligible for support from their local authority.
COMPASS is the name for a series of Home Office contracts for the provision of housing, support and transport to asylum seekers.
Dispersal is the process by which the Home Office moves an asylum seeker to accommodation while they wait for a decision on their asylum claim. They are first moved to initial accommodation while their application for asylum support is processed (usually 2-3 weeks). Once the application has been processed and approved they are moved to dispersal accommodation, usually within the same dispersal area.
Family reunion is the process enabling people granted refugee status or humanitarian protection to bring their spouse and dependent children to join them in the UK.
Humanitarian protection ( HP)
Humanitarian protection is a form of immigration status. It is granted by the Home Office to a person who it decides has a need for international protection but who does not meet the criteria to be recognised as a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention. Status is awarded for 5 years. People with Humanitarian Protection are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain at the end of their 5 year grant of leave.
Indefinite Leave to Remain ( ILR)
ILR is a form of immigration status granted by the Home Office. ILR is also called 'permanent residence' or 'settled status' as it gives permission to stay in the UK on a permanent basis.
Initial accommodation is provided to destitute asylum seekers while they wait for the outcome of their application for asylum support. (See also Dispersal)
When a person seeking asylum is granted leave to remain in the UK (refugee status, discretionary leave to remain or humanitarian protection) they are given 28 days' notice from the Home Office after which their asylum accommodation and financial support will come to an end. This is referred to as the 'move-on period'.
A refugee is a person who 'owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country'. (United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention)
Refugee status is awarded to someone the Home Office recognises as a refugee as defined by the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. A person given refugee status is normally granted leave to remain in the UK for 5 years and at the end of that period can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain ( ILR).
Resettlement is the process whereby refugees living outside their country of origin are moved to another country. In the UK, refugees arriving under resettlement programmes have their status granted prior to arrival. Housing is arranged and basic support is funded by the Home Office. Recent examples are the Syrian Resettlement Programme and the Gateway Protection Programme.
The most widely accepted definition of torture internationally is set out by Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ( UNCAT): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx
Trafficking (human trafficking)
The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Article 3 (a) defines Trafficking in Persons for the purpose of exploitation: http://www.osce.org/odihr/19223?download=true
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children ( UASC)
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children are children who have applied for asylum in their own right and are separated from both parents or previous/legal customary primary caregivers. Such children should be provided with services for looked after children by receiving local authorities and can be referred to the Scottish Guardianship Service.
Email: Scotland's Refugee Strategy