I am a first year MA Social Work student. I am currently doing my placement with Refugee Action – Colchester. As a social worker, I am keen to work with asylum seekers and refugees, particularly in the context of families and unaccompanied children. Social workers play a key role in ensuring that asylum seekers and refugees have access to appropriate support, that their fundamental human rights are upheld, and their holistic needs are met. As an migrant myself, I know how daunting it can be to come to a different country and navigate your way around a completely alien system. This process is even harder for asylum seekers and refugees who leave everything behind unexpectedly in fear of their lives. Unfortunately, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees still face hate, intolerance and racism. Language barriers and financial constraints make it harder for them to access mainstream services and legal advice. This can lead to social isolation and mental health problems and can damage their self-worth, all of which has a detrimental impact on their future.

Human rights and social justice are the main drivers of social work practice. Human rights stand for the inherent dignity and unique worth of every single individual. I believe that safeguarding the basic needs of asylum seekers and refugees would promote their inherent dignity and self-worth. I have learnt so much already during my placement with Refugee Action – Colchester. I am thankful for the amazing work they undertake to fill the gaps in the asylum system but saddened to see how refugees and asylum seekers can sometimes be failed by statutory agencies.  I am very much interested in exploring this area of social work further and developing my skills to help asylum seekers and refugees access services so I can advocate for their human rights.