Migrants' Rights Network

Access to Public Services and Welfare

Our most significant body of work here has concerned public health services.  Work undertaken has included:

  • Assisted a primary care trust in producing a guide to both members of the public and GPs on the entitlement of migrants to register as patients.
  • Organised a conference promoting migrant registration with the NHS.
  • Published several briefings on migrants and healthcare services
  • Assisted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration in organising discussions amongst Parliamentarians on migrant healthcare.
  • Working as a part of the ‘Entitlement’ group of healthcare charities and migrant support groups to monitor developments in provision and policy and its impact on migrants.

Other issues under the heading of welfare have included housing where we have been active in:

  • Tackling the risk of homelessness and rough sleeping amongst migrant groups.
  • Challenging immigration enforcement driven by migrant homelessness and destitution.
  • Advocating for action to remedy landlord exploitation of migrants during the course of the ‘beds in sheds’ scandal.
  • Raising awareness of the risks of discrimination and hardship likely to arise from the introduction of ‘right to rent’ checks required from landlords under the terms of the Immigration Acts of 2015 and 2016.
  • Supporting the work of the Strategic Alliance On Migrant Destitution – an alliance of homeless rights and migrant and refugee support organisation.

Cuts to legal aid and advice services for migrants also have implications for welfare.  Our work in this area has included submissions to Ministry of Justice consultations on the effect of proposed cuts to legal aid on migrants and a briefing paper on the loss of advice services in the London region.

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