The British Home Office is being sued by a five-year-old Black British boy for failing him and his mother by not providing them state welfare safety, especially during the coronavirus lockdown.
According to a report by the Guardian, the unnamed Black boy had taken the Home Office to the British court because of the country’s No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) policy that has denied him and his mother, who migrated from Zimbabwe in 2004, access to state benefits.
The Guardian report also quoted a statement released by Adam Hundt, a partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors, which is representing the boy that slammed the NRPF calling it “an outrageous policy that is creating an underclass of black British children.” It further mentioned that the NRPF is the only reason that the five-year-old boy in this case is being treated differently from his white counterparts because his mother came to the UK from somewhere else. The team of lawyers representing the child said that they are asking the court for the NRPF policy to be done away with and a public inquiry into the scheme that is unlawful because British children with migrant parents cannot access protection from homelessness, hunger and destitution.
The NRPF policy of the United Kingdom is a standard condition applied to those staying in the country with a temporary immigration status to protect its public funds. The policy is applicable to those who do not have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which is set as the threshold for permitting migrants to access public funds. The British government says that the migrants who are staying in the UK without leave are subject to no recourse to public funds. The British authorities justify this policy as a preventive bar that does not burden the State and the UK taxpayer. On its website, it mentions that it is right that those who benefit from the State contribute towards it first.
The Guardian reports that the young child’s mother has a low-paid zero-hours contract job working for a charity supporting children and young people. In 2020, she was unable to work during lockdown when her son’s school hours were reduced. Describing her plight, the report also mentioned that the mother had to go homeless at times while she was pregnant with her son.
The NRPF is being called out for being racist by the Unity Project, an organisation that provides legal help to immigrants, who want NRPF lifted. Caz Hattam, the co-founder of the Unity Project, told the Guardian that many people they help are key workers who take up social care or cleaning jobs and pay taxes and national insurance, like every other British citizen, but they are denied the same vital state support as other families.