Army-prison style camps used as ‘contigency units’

16 January 2021: Guardian: Legal action launched against plan to house asylum seekers at Yarl’s Wood

Home Office criticised for plans to accommodate 200 people seeking asylum at ‘prison-style’ camp.

Pressure is mounting on the Home Office over its plans to house nearly 200 asylum seekers in what campaigners have described as a “prison-style” camp on the site of an immigration jail.

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“No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.”

Yes.  This is all perfectly doable. We can overcome public health inadequacies, end the endangerment of people and map out a logical and comprehensive route to health and safety for all by giving settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain to everyone who is undocumented and in the legal process who is currently in the UK and Ireland, thereby guaranteeing access to services, without fear or retribution.

Open letter from Status Now 4 All:

Continue reading ““No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.””

The Friend Christmas issue 2020

The new issue of The Friend is a double 32-page Christmas special. 

You can download the magasine as a PDF above. It has now been circulated to every Local Quaker Meeting in the UK on BYM’s generic address list, that’s over 400 Meetings.

George Penaluna, Advertisement Manager, hopes you’ll share this PDF with your networks, QARN trustees and anyone else you think may enjoy reading it. Many thanks and best wishes for Christmas

We thank George for his warm engagement with us.

Revealed: shocking death toll of asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation

15 December 2020 Guardian: FoI response shows 29 people died – five times as many as lost their lives in perilous Channel crossings

Twenty-nine asylum seekers have died in Home Office accommodation so far this year – five times as many as those who have lost their lives on perilous Channel small boat crossings over the same period.

The Guardian obtained the figure in a freedom of information response from the Home Office, which does not publish deaths data. The identities of the majority of those who died have not been made public and the circumstances of their deaths are unclear.

[…] Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/15/revealed-shocking-death-toll-of-asylum-seekers-in-home-office-accommodation


We call for Status Now 4 All #HealthAndSafetyForAll Join us

High Court finally calls time on asylum accommodation delays

15 December 2020: Freemovement

Everyone who works with asylum seekers knows that the Home Office system for providing accommodation is not fit for purpose. In R (DMA and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin) the High Court has finally and emphatically recognised this. The judgment will surely have significant ramifications for how the Home Secretary discharges her duty to accommodate destitute asylum seekers.

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Home Office accused of cover-up at camp for asylum seekers

23 November 2020: Guardian: Home Office accused of cover-up at camp for asylum seekers

Official Secrets Act used to prevent volunteers discussing ‘disturbing’ conditions at ex-barracks

Volunteers have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements underpinned by the Official Secrets Act before entering an army barracks used to house asylum seekers, as details emerge of the “disturbing” conditions on the site.

The Home Office has been accused of attempting to cover up what is happening at Napier barracks near Folkestone, Kent, where there have been hunger strikes, suicide attempts, unrest and regular medical emergencies among residents.

Volunteers providing warm clothing, amenities, company and counselling to the 400 men housed on the site have been confronted with the confidentiality form by the private firm running the repurposed site on behalf of the Home Office. [Read more]


The Home Office is using ‘contingency sites’ to house people seeking asylum because there is a long-term build up of people waiting for decisions that have not yet been processed. StatusNow4All would clear this backlog simply and offers an opportunity for UK to respect people’s human rights, dignity, and health and safety, especially at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic

Home Office failed to comply with equality law when implementing ‘hostile environment’ measures

and … Bella Sankey@BellaSankey· Director of @DetentionAction: And it’s officially confirmed. The @ukhomeoffice are planning a pre-Christmas mass deportation of Black British residents to Jamaica on 2nd December. Despite #COVID19 risks they think that they have capacity to deport 50 people on the flight. #Jamaica50@DetentionAction

Note – you can sign this petition: Urgent action needed: Home Office plan pre Christmas mass deportation to Jamaica during lockdown


EHCR: Home Office failed to comply with equality law when implementing ‘hostile environment’ measures Published: 25 Nov 2020

We assessed how and whether the Home Office complied with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) when developing, implementing and monitoring the hostile environment policy agenda, particularly in considering its impact on Black members of the Windrush generation.

The assessment has found that negative consequences were repeatedly ignored, dismissed, or their severity disregarded at crucial points of policy development. There was limited engagement with representatives of the Windrush generation, even as the severe effects of hostile environment policies began to emerge.

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An inspection of the Home Office’s response to in-country clandestine arrivals

2020 November 12: Inspection report published: An inspection of the Home Office’s response to in-country clandestine arrivals (‘lorry drops’) and to irregular migrants arriving via ‘small boats’

The inspection examined the Home Office’s identification and handling of migrants first encountered away from a port of entry, having entered the UK concealed in a commercial vehicle, and those migrants seeking to cross the English Channel in ‘small boats’.

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Inspection report published: An inspection of the Home Office’s use of language services in the asylum process

Published 11 November 2020: The inspection focused on how well the language needs of asylum applicants were being met but the findings will have a wider relevance. The Home Office accepted all three of the recommendations.

From: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Publishing the report, David Bolt said:

Continue reading “Inspection report published: An inspection of the Home Office’s use of language services in the asylum process”