A major contextual scene for the 2020-21 year was the challenge arising from Covid-19 and the impact it had on all aspects of life and normality for societies, individuals, and organisations across the globe. This was amidst more pernicious and unwelcoming immigration and refugee government policies, not only to make life difficult for migrants who had made the UK their home but also introduced policies to deter migrants and refugees from entering the country.
The Pandemic highlighted that the lack of a safety net for those who do not have the right to claim benefits – No Recourse To Public Funds (NRPF) – has had detrimental effects on migrant communities.
Supporting migrant individuals and families by offering immigration, employment, mental health & well-being advice and support.
MRN responded to the immediate needs of migrant communities who were/are facing extreme poverty and destitution because of the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) restrictions, through a successful advocacy and support programme with Ramfel and Olmec. With funding from Segro and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the programme offered immigration, employment, mental health & well-being advice.
Mapping the Effects of Covid-19 on Migrant Frontline Workers and People of Colour
In August 2020, MRN launched a survey with Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, the3million and Migrants at Work aimed at workers who are either migrants or people of colour, in order to understand the lived experience of those who have continued to work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
It targeted health and social care workers, the construction industry, security guards and delivery drivers in the South of England, London, or the West Midlands, to gain a direct understanding of how existing structural inequalities have been exacerbated during this time of national crisis within workplaces.
The report with recommendations were formally launched at an event on December 17, 2020 with Nadia Whittome MP, Rogelio Brago – Project Manager of Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, Ake Achi – Director of Migrants at Work, and Dr Alexandra Bulat – co-chair of the Young Europeans Network at the3million.
Raising the issues affecting migrant workers documented in this report and the precarity they experience due to their immigration status, and how it intersects with other elements of daily life remains a strategic objective that MRN will pursue.
Local Authority Responses to people with NRPF during the pandemic
This project was borne out of a concern that people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) were being left out of the measures to protect people from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the instructions from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ‘bring everyone in’ (MHCLG, 2020), the authors found from their own practice, and from the experience of others, examples of situations where both families and single adults were being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.