Month: June 2018

Biggest Challenges Facing Refugees and Asylum Seekers

refugee crisisIt is very likely that you have seen the images, the images of refugees coming from their home countries. They take with them what they can, the burden of running away from a home consumed in conflict and uncertainty being among them. Because the movement of refugees and asylum seekers is usually a matter of emergency,, offers a swift and stress free moving in times of emergencies.

But who exactly are refugees and asylum seekers? According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), a refugee is someone who has been forced to move out of their country due to war, persecution or violence. On other hand, an asylum seeker is someone who leaves their country and seeks asylum from another country by applying for asylum, which is the right to be regarded as a refugee and hence receive material assistance as well as legal protection.

So, what are some of the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers face?


Raising their children in an unfamiliar culture

This is one of the biggest challenges that asylum seekers and refugees face. Children easily can easily adopt the new culture which may be different from their own culture. In addition children can easily pick up the new language compared to their parents who may take a while before they become conversant in the new language. This is a challenge because most parents would love for their children to learn and be conversant with their own language and culture and not to pick the language of foreigners and forget their own.

Issues to do with their children’s school only add up to this challenge. The refugee children are often bullied at school and may also take a while before they catch up with school work for obvious reasons.


Finding employment

Most asylum seekers and refugees will be happy to take any available job. However, the bad news is that finding a job when you are a refugee or an asylum seeker can be extremely difficult. One of the reason for this difficulty in securing employment is the lack of knowledge I the language of the country that they have fled to. This may be frustrating to the refugees and asylum seekers who were educated and formally employed back in their home countries.

Even after securing a job, most refugees and asylum seekers are discriminated against and exploited at the workplace. Some employers also take advantage of the sense of urgency and desperation of the refugees and asylum seekers and they make them take roles which are less desirable and sometimes dangerous.


There are many reasons why refugees and asylum seekers feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the world. Can you imagine losing your identity, status, career or job, family, friends and social networks?  Refugees and asylum seekers go through all this and on top of this, they have no access to resources and services, face cultural differences and are discriminated and stigmatized.

All these challenges lead to them feeling lonely and isolated and ultimately negatively affecting their health. The feeling of loneliness is linked to reduction in the quality of life and increased mortality.

One of the ways of helping refugees and those seeking asylum is by improving their access to further education and language. This will enable them to build social relationships because they would have dealt with the language barrier.