Forced unemployment or undocumented work: The burden of the prohibition to work for asylum seekers in the UK
Targarona Rifa, N. and Dona, G. 2021. Forced unemployment or undocumented work: The burden of the prohibition to work for asylum seekers in the UK. Journal of Refugee Studies. 34 (2), pp. 2052-2073. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feaa090
|Targarona Rifa, N. and Dona, G.
The paper examines asylum seekers’ perceptions of the prohibition to work policy through the lens of burden(s). Drawing from individual interviews with asylum seekers and key informants and group discussions, the findings show the multiple—economic, social, and emotional—burdens that the prohibition to work inflicts on asylum seekers and problematizes the static understanding of burdens to reveal the processes of ‘becoming’ a burden on others. A comparison of enforced joblessness and undocumented work highlights the benefits of being able to work, even when this is risky, and the different burdens associated with the choice to not work, and consequently experience forced unemployment, or to break the rules and work in the undocumented sector. The concept of the burden paradox highlights the inconsistencies between the UK government’s goal to minimize burdens for asylum seekers and the host society and its policy implementation that increases them for both.
|Journal of Refugee Studies
|34 (2), pp. 2052-2073
|Oxford University Press
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|05 Jan 2021
|Publication process dates
|16 Sep 2020
|19 Jan 2021
|© The Author(s) 2021.
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