The Helen Bamber Foundation is a UK-based human rights organisation
We help to mend what was broken in a safe and supportive environment
We help people who have experienced torture, trafficking and other forms of cruelty.
‘I am what I am today because of Helen Bamber Foundation.’ – Anita, survivor.
Each day, people who bear enduring physical and psychological scars from torture, and other forms of cruel or degrading treatment, seek asylum in the UK.
It is now accepted that vulnerable people have particular difficulties when expressing and pursuing their asylum claims and integrating into wider society, but many do not receive the specialist treatment and support that they need. Despite promise from the Home Office of change to the asylum process, questions remain about the quality of the decisions being reached, and the support being provided during the examination process.
No two cases are the same, but by describing some that cross our threshold at HBF, we hope to highlight the personal cost, the clinical risk and the complexities of seeking asylum. We believe that the experiences of our clients should inform discussion on the policies in place and the facilities available – and respond to the pervasive culture of disbelief and suspicion at government and public levels which determines policy and the allocation of resources.
The cases below have been anonymised to protect the identity of our clients. In some cases details have been changed to further maintain confidentiality. Carrie Tuke, our Body-Mind Coordinator, also describes a client session.
Melat, 29, is a mother of three young children. She was tortured and raped whilst being detained in Ethiopia. When… Read more
Amir came to us last winter after being referred by the Psychiatric department of a London hospital. He is a… Read more
Xin, 20, is from China. Her parents died suddenly when she was nine years old and she was taken in… Read more
Sadya, 24, was subject to horrific torture in Sudan where she was an activist campaigning against human rights abuses. Sadya… Read more