Good housing and work are cornerstones of our sense of belonging in Scotland. But many migrants can’t take them for granted.
Now Just Citizens is continuing its community-led research to look at a range of issues around housing and fair work as it continues to make the case for social citizenship.
First, we are teaming-up with Maryhill Integration Network to look at the issue of the right to work, which is denied to many asylum seekers under UK immigration law.
Pinar Aksu, Abid Siddiq and Shazia Shabbir – who are involved are both organisations – aim to calculate how many years of experience have been squandered because asylum seekers cannot work in Scotland through a combination of surveys, focus groups and interviews.
Though both immigration and employment are reserved they hope to open an essential debate about what more Scotland can do to address the issue. They will draw on years of campaigning work done by Maryhill Integration Network and other organisations supporting asylum seekers.
Employment rights are migrant rights
For migrants who can work in Scotland, we’re also researching employment rights.
Employment rights community researcher Fim Krisanabal is looking at the impact of Covid-19 on migrant workers, who statistically are more likely to be doing precarious work.
On housing, community researchers Cosmo Neacsu, Micheal Matovu and Saad Al-Ali (supported by interpreter Ahlam Soudi) are looking at a range of issues including lack of access to safe and decent housing, housing conditions and document checks by landlords.
As part of their work they will be doing surveys with migrants across Scotland to find out more about their experiences.
Talat Yaqoob, policy lead for Just Citizens, said: “If you are a migrant living in Scotland we’d urge you to fill in our surveys, or if you have direct experience of housing, employment or right to work issues then please get in touch.
“Our Just Citizens have lived experience of these issues and are looking to build the evidence base for a fairer version of citizenship here in Scotland through the strands of their research.”
You can fill in our Housing survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5G8ZS2S
And our employment/right to work one here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Z3HMHMX