We're very excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for a Charity Award for our work as lead funder on the Strategic Legal Fund for Vulnerable Young Migrants (SLF).
The work we did was in partnership with Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy and MigrationWork.
The fund was set up because, despite public agencies having a duty to consider the best interests of children, children were often treated differently if they or their parents did not have settled immigration status. As a result, young people’s rights to basic needs – subsistence, stability, education – were being unlawfully denied. This was a significant issue in London, where 38 per cent of residents were born overseas.
The SLF made small grants for strategic legal action on key issues where children in the UK faced discrimination as a result of their migration status. This helped more legal cases count beyond the individual(s) concerned and helped reduce the need for multiple separate cases about the same issue, thus making much more effective use of limited charitable resources.
The Trust established an expert panel of lawyers to advise it and worked swiftly to turn around applications in just 11 working days, signed off by just a trustee and staff, in order to meet all opportunities.
The programme – together with campaigning and policy work – produced significant legal judgments in favour of young migrants, forced many public bodies to correctly apply the law, and significantly increased learning about the challenges facing young migrants.
The programme’s work has now been handed on to the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, which will continue to receive funding from the foundations involved.