In a large well-lit room, the researchers are sitting in the middle, answering questions from open discussion participants. Currently speaking is Paiwand's volunteer advocate.

Afghan Migrants in London: Accessing Support in Hostile Times

Last Thursday at Harrow Arts Centre, Prof Louise Ryan and Dr María López from London Metropolitan University and the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre presented findings from their research project ‘Afghan Migrants in London: Accessing Support in Hostile Times’.

The research was based on interviews with Afghan refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants – some told their stories from bridging hotels shortly after arriving in the UK, while others have resettled to London a long time ago.

Paiwand is delighted to have partnered with the research team and our sister organisation, Afghan Association of London, who organised this event, to use our connections to facilitate the interviews. A wonderful team of peer researchers – two of which were from Paiwand – came together to give their time to help recruit participants and provide interpreting support.

The interviews revealed some key challenges Afghans face upon coming to the UK – such as profound uncertainty brought on by being stuck in temporary accommodation for a long time (to date, all interviewees have still not been housed), the language barrier, deskilling - working jobs they are overqualified for due to not having their qualifications recognised here, profound mental health issues, as well as worrying about their family back home.

The findings give us a comprehensive overview of the main obstacles faced by Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. They also help identify what must be done to respond to the needs of Afghans.

Change needs to come – but what should it look like, and how do we achieve it? Join us at the dissemination event in Islington on September 27th to find out. More information about the event is to come soon – make sure to follow Paiwand's social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so you don’t miss it.

 For photographs from the event, please see our Facebook post.




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