Report from Dr Anna Rowlands, in collaboration with JRS UK, finds that asylum seekers in destitution and detention feel dehumanised by the asylum system but find strength through community membership, faith and volunteering.
This report was commissioned by JRS UK and is based on independent research work conducted by Dr Anna Rowlands. This fieldwork research took place between 2017 and 2019. This resulting report examines the experience of destitution and detention amongst those seeking asylum supported and accompanied by the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK, and has been prepared for the use of the JRS community and those with an interest in faith-based responses to asylum and refugee experience in the UK. It is the first of two reports arising from a research collaboration between Dr Rowlands and JRS UK, and will be followed by a further jointly written publication in 2019 drawing on this research and making recommendations for policy reform for the use of UK policy makers.
Dr Anna Rowlands is St Hilda Associate Professor in Catholic Social Thought and Practice at the University of Durham, UK. She is the founding chair of the UK Centre for Catholic Social Thought and Practice, which exists to network academics and practitioners who have an interest in Catholic social thought/practice. She is a political theologian who works on forced migration, Catholic and Anglican social traditions, and the social philosophies of twentieth-century Jewish and Christian thinkers Hannah Arendt, Gillian Rose and Simone Weil.
She is currently a Coinvestigator on the AHRC/ESRC funded Refugee Hosts project exploring the reality of refugee hosting in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, including the role of religion in hosting practices. She is co-editor of the T&T Clark Reader in Political Theology (Bloomsbury, 2019), and author of the forthcoming Towards a Politics of Communion: Catholic Social Teaching in Dark Times (Bloomsbury, 2020) and co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford University Press Handbook on Religion and Contemporary Migration (2021). She works with a range of UK and International Catholic practitioner organisations.