Disabled Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Britain: Numbers and social characteristics

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Demographic data related to refugees and asylum seekers living in Britain are hard to obtain (London
Research Centre, 1999) and information concerning disabled people within refugee populations is rarely
found. This absence of data is replicated internationally as
"No one knows how many of the world's 15 million refugees suffer physical or
mental disability."
(Boylan, 1991, p. 4)
Indeed, even the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is unable to give figures for the number
of disabled refugees who have been resettled under its programme for refugees with special needs (UN,
2000). This lack of data means that disabled refugees and asylum seekers constitute a largely invisible
population whose social needs and circumstances are often unknown.
As part of the research project 'Disabled Refugees in Britain: needs for and entitlements to social
and welfare services' researchers at the Social Policy Research Unit, University of York have begun
to investigate the numbers and social characteristics of disabled refugees and asylum seekers living in
Britain. This short discussion paper summarises figures gained from existing data sources as well as
presenting the findings from a quantitative survey of disability and refugee community groups in Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUniversity of York, York
PublisherSocial Policy Research Unit, University of York
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • ill/disabled adults
  • refugees/asylum seekers

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