Published 17th January 2020

Community Organisers join the ‘Lift the Ban’ coalition

“People seeking safety in our country are banned from working. They are unable to provide for themselves and their families and often left to live in poverty.” The Lift the Ban coalition.

Community Organisers has joined the campaign to #LiftTheBan, challenging the law that bans people seeking refugee status from working whilst they wait for a decision on their asylum claim.

The Lift the Ban believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to our society and integrating into our communities. This means giving people seeking asylum the right to work so that they can use their skills and live in dignity.

As part of the Lift the Ban coalition, Community Organisers is working to change this. Together, we believe we can #LiftTheBan and ensure that people seeking safety in the UK have the right to work.

People are poor, with no money for food and clothes. They don’t have own houses to live in. They don’t have human rights.

The case for change

People seeking asylum are given just £5.39 per day to meet their essential living costs. But almost half of all people claiming asylum currently wait over six months for a decision on their claim, with many waiting years. Forcing people to live in poverty for months on end whilst they wait for that decision has a detrimental impact on their physical and mental health.

Lifting the current ban would significantly reduce the costs of keeping people on asylum support – and people seeking asylum could contribute to the economy through consumer spending and paying tax. It is estimated that the UK economy could gain £42.4m per year if the ban was lifted.

Work allows people to improve their English, acquire new skills and make friends and social contacts. For those who are eventually given refugee status, this will make integration much easier.

Opinion polls show that the public strongly supports the right to work for people seeking asylum. The most recent data suggests that 71% of people back the Lift the Ban campaign.

Being here, we are not working, it’s like we’ve been put to one side, as if we are not human beings. The way they treat us like we are nobody, we are animals.

Call to Action!

Read the inspiring story of how people from the English For Action Social Action Hub have come together to challenge the law that bans people seeking refugee status from working whilst they wait for a decision on their asylum claim: Asylum seekers organise to ‘Lift the Ban’.

Read the campaign report to find out more about why we should #LiftTheBan.

Sign the Lift the Ban petition to the Home Secretary! You can find the petition HERE

Download the Lift the Ban Activism Pack for more information on how you can get involved.

For more information about the campaign and how you can support, contact


If you've got a great story about community organising and the positive impact it is having in your community we would love to hear from you.