Strategic Legal Fund - December 2014
Migration Work CIC Esmee Fairbairn Trust for London

Strategic Legal Fund
for vulnerable young migrants

SLF: Phase 3 

We are pleased to announce that the SLF has been extended for two more years from January 2015 to December 2016.  The SLF will continue to be funded by Trust for London and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We also welcome on board Unbound Philanthropy who have provided funds for this phase. MigrationWork will continue to manage the day to day running of the fund.

The SLF will continue to provide small one-off grants to NGOs and private law firms for pre-litigation research and third party interventions, which uphold the rights of migrant children and young people in the UK.

We have a total of £360,000 available for grants, with a maximum of £30,000 per project. However, we encourage organisations to apply for smaller amounts of funding to help ensure that we reach a wide range of organisations representing the needs of young migrants.  We particularly welcome applications from NGOs and solicitors firms based outside of London including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

There will be six funding rounds in 2015. The next application deadline is 12 January.

If you have a query about the fund or would like to discuss an application for funding, please contact the project manager, Gerry Hickey, on

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SLF Archive Make-Over 

The archive, which is hosted by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, has recently had a make-over. It is now arranged by topic such as ‘support for families’ and ‘age disputes’, which will make it easier for the user to find the research materials they require. The archive contains a number of useful documents such as court judgments, research papers, legal opinions, responses to freedom of requests and more.   To access the archive click here.


Grants Awarded 

In September and November 2014 we received a total of seven applications for funding and made four grants. Grants were awarded to:
  • The Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP) to intervene in a case of a destitute migrant with outstanding representations on family life grounds, who was refused Section 4 support from the Home Office. The case is listed to be heard early February 2015.
  • Bindmans LLP to carry out pre-litigation research into the impact the sharing of NHS patient data with the Home Office may have on migrants accessing healthcare. The research will look particularly at whether migrants with young children and pregnant women are deterred from seeking medical care when they need it.
  • Migrants’ Law Project at Islington Law Centre to continue their research with Detention Action on the lawfulness, or otherwise, of the Detained Fast Track procedures.  Following a court ruling earlier this year in which the judge found serious failings in the system, particularly in relation to detainees having timely access to legal advice, the Home Office agreed to take steps to remedy these problems.  MLP will carry out research to ascertain whether the steps taken by the Home Office have rectified the failings, and whether it is appropriate to restore the matter to Court.
  • Public Law Project to carry out pre-litigation research on the ‘no-notice removal policy’ introduced under the Immigration Act 2014. 


Grant Progress

Legal Services Agency, a law centre based in Glasgow, was grant funded by the SLF to carry out research on the support provided by local authorities across Scotland to separated children who arrive in Scotland aged 16 -17. The findings of the research showed that there was inconsistency in the level of care provided to separated children. Whilst some separated children received a full package of care in residential units, others were placed in self contained accommodation and had minimal contact with social workers and childcare professionals. The report can be found in our archive here.

Ealing Law Centre was grant funded by the SLF to research the obstacles migrant children face when registering as British Citizens.  The findings show that the obstacles include difficulties raising the money to pay the registration fee of £669; poor decision making by the Home office when refusing registration; a narrow interpretation of the law surrounding registering as a British Citizen and the non availability of legal aid for assistance with completing the application procedures. The registration fee is currently the subject of Judicial Review proceedings and Ealing Law Centre will be providing evidence from their research to support this case.  The report can be found in our archive here.

Deighton Pierce Glynn, in partnership with Kalayaan, were funded to intervene in a case concerning whether employers who mistreat and exploit migrant employees can rely on diplomatic immunity as a defence to compensation claims. They have recently been granted permission to proceed with their judicial review and have obtained a protective costs order.  The case is due to be heard in the next few months. 

The Strategic Legal Fund for Vulnerable Young Migrants is a project of Trust for London, delivered in partnership with Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and MigrationWork CIC.

Strategic Legal Fund, PO Box 64636, London SW8 9DE Tel. 020 7091 0539 Email:

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