Latest From Life Without Papers

One year on

These stories were mainly written throughout 2013, commissioned by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy.

Twelve months later – around November 2014 – updates were added. Over the course of a year you might expect lives to move on, to improve in some small way. Sadly, that’s not often the case for migrants in the UK. Whether in the ‘system’ or not, they face a long struggle to gain acceptance, to find a place they can call home.

Len Grant

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9 updates to this story


At their primary school her daughters seemed no different from the other kids but they came home to someone else’s house where they all slept in one room and ate their host’s leftovers. Olatunde has still not recovered from the five years her family were undocumented.

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20 updates to this story

Ruth and Dyanna

Brought here at 14 to work as a domestic 'slave', Ruth is now 26 with a six-year-old daughter. She is unknown to the authorities and claims no benefits. She relies on the goodwill of others and a low paid job to keep her head above water.

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13 updates to this story


Sinan has no papers to prove his nationality. The authorities cannot remove him even if they wanted to. He’s in limbo, no-man’s land. But at least he’s no longer homeless and now has an income of £12 per week.

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