Refugee Council & Oxfam
Safe But Not Settled

Based on interviews conducted with Refugee Council staff over the summer of 2017, the report highlights the experiences of 44 resettled refugee families from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and three other countries, living in Yorkshire and Humberside and in Hertfordshire.

Eleven of those refugee families have now been reunited in the UK with some of the loved ones they left behind. For nine out of the 11, integration into British society was quicker and easier as a result. Tesfay, a young man from the Horn of Africa who arrived in the UK in January 2016, was not working, was depressed and had been referred to mental health services, until his fiancée Aatifa was allowed to join him. Since then, he has returned to work, she has begun studying and, in the words of their Refugee Council worker, ‘they engage with everything, they’re enjoying the city to the best of their ability now’.

Their story and the stories of the other ten refugees who have been allowed to reunite with their families offer a message of hope, but few of the stories in this report have had happy endings. For the vast majority of families included in the research sample, the struggle to see their loved ones again dominates their lives.

The full report is attached below.