Important new research commissioned by Refugee Action and undertaken by Dr Jo Wilding reveals ‘legal advice deserts’ that are preventing access to justice and causing other wide-ranging negative impacts for people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants in UK communities.

New national research commissioned by Refugee Action and lead by Dr Jo Wilding, and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Community Justice Fund, has helped to evidence the extent to which a lack of legal advice and representation is impacting on refugee, asylum and migrant communities in the UK.

No access to justice: How legal advice deserts fail refugees, migrants and our communities, by Dr Jo Wilding, has revealed that poor quality legal advice and representation are drivers of destitution, homelessness and isolation and lead to poor mental and physical health amongst people within migrant and refugee communities.

‘Legal advice deserts’ also affect the capacity, resources and resilience of the services that are there to support people in migrant and refugee communities, such as Local Authorities and NACCOM members, whose services are impacted by the deficit in legal aid.

In NACCOM’s latest annual member survey, 36 of our of 67 (54%) full members (offering accommodation) provided some form of legal advice or non-legal casework support, or worked in partnership with a registered legal practitioner.

What the Government needs to do:

➡️ People who are refused asylum should be supported with independent free legal advice to explore their options and make informed choices about their future. Funding and the scope of legal aid should be expanded to ensure adequate provision.