Counselling for rejected asylum seekers

Helsingor Mathilde Bech 23W

A number of asylum seekers in our centres receive information that their application for asylum has been rejected. This is a very difficult situation to be in, and rejected asylum seekers are very much in need of support and guidance.

At Red Cross, we are uniquely equipped to help because, through the International Red Cross, we can establish connections with several of the countries to which rejected asylum seekers return.

Counsellors help asylum seekers

Red Cross offers asylum seekers impartial, off-the-record interviews, giving them the option to talk through their situation in peace and quiet and to review their options after a rejection. The counsellors help clarify issues for the rejected asylum seeker, for example if he or she decides to return voluntarily.

Deciding to return voluntarily increases the possibility that this can happen in a more orderly and secure manner than in the case of a forced return, which may be accompanied by the police.

Red Cross offers help in the home country in the case of voluntary return

If asylum seekers decide to return voluntarily, it can be simple, personal things that are needed to increase the feeling of safety and dignity in connection with their return: Knowing that local Red Cross employees will be present to greet them on arrival at the airport, that they will get assistance in finding accommodation for the first few days, or purely material help such as packages of food and hygiene items or school uniforms for the children.

Depending on the asylum seeker’s options, Red Cross employees help write out an action plan which may ease the asylum seeker’s initial period after returning to his or her home country. The final decision is of course entirely up to the individual – but the impartial counselling provides a better foundation on which to make this decision.