Risk Assessing Hotels And Barracks Housing Displaced People In The UK

Statement from Status Now: 20 October 2020: Risk assessing hotels and barracks housing displaced people in the UK: Statement from StatusNow4All

We note that the role of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is to help improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of the Home Office’s border and immigration functions through unfettered, impartial and evidence-based inspection.   

We note, in contrast, that the Home Office is attempting to side step this transparent system by hiring  a private risk management company, Human Applications (https://ergonomics.org.uk/humanapplications)  to provide a ‘rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and former military barracks, and provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19.’   Hastily arranged with minimal, non-transparent and selective third sector involvement, the Home Office have stated that they do not intend to make this report public.  

Living conditions have the potential to compromise the physical and psychological health of people.  Those displaced people currently accommodated by the Home Office in hotels and barracks around the UK are not being offered thorough assessment, especially in relation to the safeguarding concerns that arise from the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Home Office is failing to demonstrate either an appropriate duty of care, or any transparent process.   Similarly, the meaningful exercise of duty of care cannot be realised until there is a comprehensive test- track- trace and quarantine system that enables EVERYONE to participate, with confidence, throughout the UK. 

Alongside our call for StatusNow4All https://statusnow4all.org/about-status-now/ to enable everyone to share equal access to healthcare, housing and food, we call for the  Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration  to conduct an immediate and independent inspection that ‘provides assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19’.

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Appeal Court Quashes UK Policy of Removing Migrants With Little Warning

21 October 2020: The court of appeal has quashed a Home Office policy of removing migrants from the UK without access to justice. In a unanimous decision, three judges found the policy, which allowed the forcible removal of a migrant from the UK sometimes within hours and in many cases without access to lawyers, to be unlawful. More than 40,000 removals were affected by the policy, resulting in vulnerable people being put at risk. Some were recognised as having been removed unlawfully, were brought back to the UK and granted leave to remain.

Wednesday’s ruling will be a blow for the home secretary, Priti Patel, who has vowed to take a tough line on removing migrants from the UK. It also comes at a time when she has been reported to be considering making some definitions of human rights law for judges rather than leaving judges to decide these legal points for themselves.

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Refugee rights groups to hold welcome event outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone

17 October 2020: Morning Star: Far-right thugs harassing asylum-seekers whenever they leave MoD site in Kent where they are being held, campaigners tell the Star

Refugee rights groups to hold welcome event outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone.

ASYLUM-SEEKERS held in a former army camp in Kent are being harassed and intimidated by far-right activists every time they leave the site, campaigners told the Morning Star today.

Refugee rights groups are holding a welcome event on Saturday outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone to show support for the asylum-seekers and “undercut” the hateful messages of a small number of racists.

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Sanctuary Europe: Quaker work on Human Rights and Migration

Topic: North London Area Meeting Quaker Week Event – The Threat to Migrants

Time: Oct 8, 2020.  Doors open 07:00pm for a 7.30pm start.  We will finish by 8.45pm.

Andrew Lane, Director, Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) in Brussels will talk about the work of Quakers to engage European governments and institutions on questions of migration justice. 
Luke Piper, Head of Policy, the3million.org Luke is a solicitor specialised in immigration law.  They currently have a campaign for EU citizens in the UK after Brexit to be allowed documentary proof of their rights, instead of simply being provided with a number which has to be used electronically to establish what rights they may have.

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‘Off-shoring’ people seeking asylum is not a new idea

Updated 2.10.2020 – floating barriers, wave machines, old ferries …

Out of sight, out of mind! The ‘backlog’ can be dealt with by giving people Leave to Remain now. This post is also uploaded to the http://statusnow4all.org website.


30.9.2020: BBC: Ascension Island: Priti Patel considered outpost for UK asylum centre location

The government has considered building an asylum processing centre on a UK territory in the Atlantic Ocean.

The idea of “offshoring” people is being looked at but finding a suitable location would be key, a source said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel asked officials to look at asylum policies which had been successful in other countries, the BBC has been told.

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Inspectors report on Home Office flight removing immigration detainees to France and Germany

Please do Read the report: Germany and France escort and removalit is disturbing

2.10.2020: Extract: ‘Managers were expecting some resistance, because of their previous experience of detainees being reluctant to return to other European countries under the TCU arrangements. Several of those scheduled to be on the flight had been very distressed; the removal of most of those identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm was cancelled, but two who were at risk travelled, of whom one self harmed on the aircraft and the other was found during the journey to be secreting a fragment of sharp metal in his mouth. Two detainees had to be carried on to the aircraft and restraints were used on half the total number.

Handcuffs were fitted for short periods to the wrists of three detainees for the purpose of achieving compliance through inflicting pain. We did not directly observe the incidents and so cannot judge whether use of this technique was proportionate in the circumstances.’

[and … ‘

1.7 Waist restraint belts (WRBs) were used for half the detainees which, in each case that we observed, followed a refusal to comply or stated intention to do so. Handcuffs were used on four detainees. In three cases, they were fitted to inflict pain and secure compliance. In one case, records showed that the rigid-bar cuff had been placed on the wrist where the detainee had just made cuts; in another, a detainee had cuffs on both wrists, neither of them attached to an officer. We did not observe these incidents and cannot judge the operational requirement for these actions, but this technique should meet the criteria of proportionality and minimum necessary use of force and should be used as a last resort.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons has published a report on an inspection of the first immigration removal flight on which all detainees were being returned to other nations involuntarily since the suspension of such chartered flights at the beginning of the COVID-19 period.

The flight on 12 August 2020, from Stansted, took 14 immigration detainees to Frankfurt in Germany and Toulouse in France, under the Dublin Convention, to which the UK is a party.

Six detainees were Iranian, three were Sudanese, one was from South Sudan, two were from Iraq and one each was from Guinea Bissau and Afghanistan. The youngest was 19 years old and the oldest 43.

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