You may be able to claim compensation through the Windrush Compensation Scheme if you suffered a loss because you could not demonstrate your lawful right to live in the UK.
If you live or work in Merton, the following organisations can help you to apply for compensation:
- Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth
- Merton and Sutton Law Centre (part of South West London Law Centres)
About the Windrush generation
The 'Windrush generation' refers to the millions of people from Commonwealth countries who were invited by the British Government to come to Britain from the 1940's until the early 1970's to help to rebuild Britain after World War 2.
The 1948 British Nationality Act allowed migrants who were able to confirm that they were born within the British Empire to live and work in Britain indefinitely; this practice continued until 1971. It was common during this time for children to travel on their parents' passports.
In 2012 the Home Office introduced changes to the immigration policy that resulted in the creation of a "hostile environment" for migrants. This – coupled with the Home Office no longer having accurate records regarding the Windrush generation migrants – resulted in many who had lived and worked in the UK for many years no longer being regarded has having the right to remain in the UK.
Those without documents proving when they arrived in the UK were unable to demonstrate their lawful status when facing immigration checks. Many could not get benefits, healthcare or social housing. Some lost their jobs, were wrongly detained or even deported.
The Government has now acknowledged that the Windrush generation migrants have been unfairly treated and has put measures in place to provide redress to those affected.
If you have been affected by the changes described above you may be entitled to compensation.