Homa lived in South London. Having fled to the UK following persecution in his home country, he was in the process of seeking asylum. The harm Homa escaped left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, and to get to his medical appointments and other support services he had to travel to North London.

Homa was very anxious about his pending asylum application, and the possibility that he could be removed to his home country, where he would face persecution and ill-treatment. Because of his post-traumatic stress disorder, Homa would experience panic attacks whenever he was on a bus for more than 10 minutes. He would have to get off the bus, calm himself down, and then wait for the next bus. Sometimes it would take him several hours to get to where he needed to be in North London, and it was using up most of the limited funds he was granted because he’d often have to pay for multiple bus journeys. 

Homa’s social services caseworker recognised that the long journey, coupled with his existing mental health condition, was having a significant impact on his wellbeing. She spoke with the local council which was responsible for providing bus passes to people in particular need, and raised Homa’s right to respect for private life (Article 8, Human Rights Act), and specifically how that protects people’s  right to psychological integrity.

The local council agreed that the extreme impact of the situation on Homa’s wellbeing was interfering with his right to respect for private life, and that they had a duty to take proportionate action to mitigate this. Homa was issued a bus pass so that he could travel to his appointments at his own pace, and access the medical treatment he needed.