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New issues in refugee research : the integration and onward migration of refugees in Scotland: a review of the evidence

Stewart, Emma (2009) New issues in refugee research : the integration and onward migration of refugees in Scotland: a review of the evidence. Discussion paper. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva.

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Despite the operation of UK dispersal policy for nearly a decade, there has been little examination of the resulting impacts upon refugee mobility and integration. Implemented under the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act, the rationale behind UK dispersal was to 'spread the burden' (Robinson et al. 2003). The housing of asylum seekers to various locations across the UK was employed to discourage settlement in the South East (and particularly London) and distribute costs amongst UK local authorities. The main aim was to relieve housing and social pressures in South East England, where the majority of new arrivals spontaneously concentrated. By instituting a policy of compulsory dispersal, UK asylum policy has removed an asylum seeker's freedom to choose where to settle. This means that since 2000, the UK Home Office has implemented a policy of dispersal whereby asylum seekers are housed on a no choice basis to locations around the country.