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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Queensland University of Technology 2202-8005 The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy is an open access, blind peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world.  The Journal is committed to democratising quality knowledge production and dissemination. Authors retain copyright and articles are licenced via Creative Commons to make published articles more readily available and useable. There are no APCs (Article Processing Charges). Authors can submit and publish at no cost.
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 9 3

Coping with Vulnerability: The Limbo Created by the UK Asylum System


Upon arrival in the United Kingdom (UK), asylum claimants undergo a complex application process with no guarantee of being granted leave to remain. Throughout this process, applicants live in ‘limbo’ with no certainty regarding their future. They are forced into poverty, are at risk of destitution and often live in substandard accommodation, all of which causes further harm, compounding the circumstances from which they have fled. This paper explores the stress and vulnerability faced by male asylum seekers during the application process and how they cope or resist vulnerability during this time. Based on narrative interviews, this research finds that the most stressful experiences for participants include living in ‘limbo’ throughout the asylum application process and beyond. As such, many coped by using distraction techniques, seeking support and through cognitive restructuring.

Pages:61 to 74
Section: Special Issue: Migration, Vulnerability and Violence
1 citation(s) in Scopus
1 citation(s) in Web of Science


Total Abstract Views: 346  Total PDF Downloads: 151

Author Biography

University of Manchester
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Amy Cortvriend is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester.