Saturday 23 December 2023

UK Empowers NGOs With £150,000 to Find Nigerians, Others Wrongly Accused of Immigration Offences


The United Kingdom’s Home Office has awarded £150,000 in grants to 16 non-governmental organisations to reach out to residents with Nigerian roots and other nationals to understand how Windrush support schemes operate.

The other beneficiaries of the funds are said to be from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ghana and India. The grants are intended to empower the benefiting groups to educate people and raise awareness about the government’s Windrush documentation and compensation programme.

The Windrush compensation scheme is the UK’s flagship effort to support legal residents who were erroneously deported due to the wrong classification as immigration offenders.

Windrush generation is a group of people who moved to the UK after the World War II and prior to 1971 on the enablement of the UK’s 1971 Immigration Act, which allowed Commonwealth citizens permanent leave to work and live in the country.

The compensation scheme was set up to review the status of those genuinely affected and reabsorb them as legal residents. Their illegal deportation has become known as the “Windrush scandal”. 

The successful groups, which applied for between £5,000 and £10,000, will be supported in their campaign to provide information about eligibility criteria, guidance on the application process and other allied matters.

In bidding for the funds, the successful applicants have shown how they would “reach communities and individuals within and beyond the Caribbean community, including those with roots in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana and India”, the Home Office said.

“The money we are providing will make sure groups, with roots and well-established networks in their communities, can help the Government reach as many people as possible to encourage them to come forward,” local media reported Tom Pursglove, Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, to have said.

“We know this is the most effective way to get the message out and assure people that they will get the guidance and support necessary to get the documentation they need and to apply for compensation they so rightly deserve, having contributed so much to the UK.”

Human Rights Watch had described the process of verifying the victims’ claims as hostile and inaccessible, disenfranchising those that were supposed to benefit from it. The rights group then urged government to transfer the process to an independent organisation to make it more transparent.

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