We believe the Home Office is breaking the law by using Napier barracks as asylum accommodation and that’s why we are taking @pritipatel to court. In light of the announcement that our Government plans on continuing to use the site to accommodate asylum seekers until 2025, we are left with no other option than to challenge this decision and call for its closure in the courts. Napier barracks is experienced by many held there as a detention camp or prison and was found by the high court to fall short of the minimum standards for asylum accommodation. People seeking safety in the UK should be provided with safe, secure, private accommodation with access to help and support within communities, not held in dilapidated army barracks. Humans for Rights will continue to advocate alongside these men, ensuring no further harm is done to others forced to live there.
Updated 17 September 2021: House of Lords SECONDARY LEGISLATION SCRUTINY COMMITTEE Drawn to the special attention of the House: Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development Order 2021
Piloting new processes
Instruments drawn to the special attention of the House: Town and Country Planning (Napier Barracks) Special Development Order 2021 (SI 2021/962)
MEMBERS of a group campaigning to end evictions in Scotland have mounted a demonstration in Edinburgh over the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill, claiming it would see the criminalisation of asylum seekers.
“The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere.” Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester
The plight of the Afghan people who are now fleeing from their homes is prompting positive and compassionate responses from a wide range of bodies and groupings across the UK. Councils such as Abergavenny, and conurbations such as Greater Manchester and Liverpool are receiving some additional monies via the Home Office to house people. However, as Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester, an organisational signatory to the Status Now Network has observed to us this morning:
“As we have always done, Leicester will welcome those seeking refuge from conflict and oppression. We will be taking the opportunity to participate in the resettlement scheme announced today as a response to the truly awful situation in Afghanistan. We expect that resources will be provided to local councils so that we can provide and co-ordinate the support that will be needed. Leicester will proudly offer sanctuary and a new home to Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere. These people too are welcome in Leicester and deserve better from the government.“
The impact of having their lives put on hold is devastating for refugee friends
This week the Independent published a special report looking at the lives of people seeking asylum, who are forced to live in limbo. As they spend years waiting on a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they live in great uncertainty, banned from working, and at risk of exploitation and abuse. These stories echo the harrowing experiences of the friends of JRS who are battling this hostile system, which is founded on suspicion. As they desperately seek to be recognised as refugees, they struggle to survive.
Data shows over 1,200 people seeking asylum currently in the system, have waited more than five years, with 399 more than a decade.
Updated 3 August 2021: ZeroCovidNow@ZeroCovidNow1: Undocumented migrants have faced exceptionally harsh conditions throughout this pandemic while being invisible to much of the media and political class. Hear from one undocumented mother, with a young child, about the challenges of the pandemic. #ZeroCovid#StatusNow
19th July 2021: PRESS RELEASE: Rising Calls for Health and Safety 4 ALL Debate in Parliament today coincides with simultaneous demonstrations
“As a health worker, I must be enabled to do my job to the best of my ability, not be confronted with this abuse and distress and trauma and expected to keep on working, keep on raising my children safety, while my man is threatened with this great danger”. Front Line Nurse, Daisy Motlogwa
“It is incredible that we let unknown numbers of people languish without documentation, forced into the “unofficial” economy or worse. People who can work, want to work and pay taxes should be brought into the mainstream.” Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale
The three asylum seekers have raised their concerns over what has been described as the dilapidated and dangerous state of their home in Newcastle. Asylum seekers in Newcastle have spoken out about what they describe as the dilapidated and potentially dangerous conditions they are living in.
They live in Benwell Grove, Fenham, in housing provided by the Mears Group which has a £1bn Government contract to provide accommodation and support for asylum seekers.
Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, wrote: “This young man, along with two other asylum seekers, is being subjected to dangerous and life threatening housing conditions by The Mears Group, asylum housing contractor who began major electrical rewiring and repairs without any notice while the three asylum seekers are living there.
Status Now Network welcomes the support of this informal coalition of MPs who stand with us in our campaign for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status:
Motion text: That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination.
The High Court has overturned a tribunal judgment that had instructed the Home Office to house refused asylum seekers until lockdown restrictions end. The decision in R (Secretary of State for the Home Department) v First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) EWHC 1690 (Admin) is said to affect at least 1,000 people.
An expectant mother staying at a mother and baby unit in Glasgow spoke to The Canary about living conditions there. This mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been living in this unit since March 2021. She said it’s “very stressful” living in such cramped conditions where “there is no community”.
Various campaigners in Glasgow, coming together as “the Roof Coalition”, are demanding the Home Office closes this unit that accommodates over 20 women and their babies. The Roof Coalition’s #FreedomToCrawl campaign calls on the public:
16 March 2021: Hasting Community of Sanctuary: Speaking from the Heart about Napier Barracks
Erfan – a former resident held in Napier Barracks for nearly 6 months, and who was one of the nearly 200 people who contracted Covid in the massive outbreak in the barracks in Januaryhas written a powerful letter to the People of the UK. We are honoured to share it here.
You may know me from the letters which were written on behalf of the Napier barracks residents. I am now outside of the camp and cannot talk on behalf of my other friends. However, I personally would like to say a few important things about what I have seen and learnt during my stay at Napier Barracks and the United Kingdom.