2021 Jan 14: Publishing the report, David Bolt said: For many this will seem to be a case of too little, and much too late. From ICIBI’s perspective, in 2016, and again in 2018 and 2019, a series of inspection reports recommended that the Home Office should monitor and evaluate the impact of the hostile/compliant environment. These recommendations were only “partially accepted” and never implemented. Had they been, some of the harms suffered by the Windrush generation and others may have been avoided.
Dozens of asylum seekers have mounted a protest over the conditions they are being held in at a former military camp in Kent, warning that being there is putting them at risk.
More than a dozen police officers responded to the peaceful protest outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone on Tuesday afternoon. Video footage shows officers lined up in front of the camp’s residents as they hold up banners warning of unsafe conditions in the camp.
Last September, the former army base was turned into accommodation for asylum-seeking men and is currently said to be housing around 400 people.
Open Letter to Public Health England and other agencies:
“As PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants)have most recently expressed:
“Any vaccination campaign, to be effective, has to cover virtually everyone. Including #undocumented people is not only humane, it’s also public health common sense. We’re all in this together, and only together can we win this battle.”
People seeking asylum in Folkestone are protesting. They want their voices to be heard.
A resident at Napier Barracks writes: ” I can’t speak English , but I can write for you and I send good pictures for you , you can read the posters on my pic we are human. Everyone here has a mental problem because nothing is human. No body is responsible for how long we have to be here. Neither in terms of health nor food and any other help many people here do not have access to a doctor, Many do not have warm clothes.”
Status Now 4 All has a continuing deep concern about the impact on the physical and psychological well-being of people seeking asylum of being accommodated in ‘contingency units’ by the companies acting on behalf of the Home Office. The news items below amplify the voice of those with this experience.
We ask you to write to your MP calling for the use of barracks to be stopped, and for the Home Office to appropriately exercise its duty of care … and make a big noise about this desperate situation: Call for Status Now for All
East and South East Asia: Online public discussion launching a research outcome on covid-19 response measures and migrant workers’ rights in East and South East Asia, available to watch below on Youtube. We also covered situations of undocumented people and people with irregular status too…
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 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.
11 December 2020 Leicester City Mayor@CityMayorLeic· #Leicester will not collaborate with the Government’s change to immigration rules for rough sleepers. It is unfair, discriminatory and morally wrong to deport someone simply falling on hard times and losing their home.
3 December 2020: Status Now Network notes that concurrent discussion about vaccines becoming available on the NHS does nothing to address any of the structural, institutional and systemic barriers to access to health for people who are undocumented and those in legal process.
The young migrant folk at We Belong recently published this report that looks at mental health and the precariousness of growing up on LLR:
“We Belong’s Mental Health Check is not an easy read – but it is an essential one. It is a clarion call for change. Our report catalogues the terrible toll that the immigration system in general – and the 10-year Limited Leave to Remain route in particular – is taking on young people’s mental and physical health.
Our country cannot afford to go on like this: too many young lives are being damaged and distorted; too much harm is being inflicted; too much ambition and talent is being hobbled – or even extinguished.
Here, we repeat the call of our 2019 report, ‘Normality is a Luxury: How Limited Leave to Remain is blighting young lives’, for a shorter, more affordable and humane path to citizenship for those of us who are proud to call the UK our home (see page 30-31)”
30 November 2020: The backlog of asylum cases has reached alarming new heights, with over 46,000 people now waiting more than six months for an initial decision on their asylum application. The figures as of 30 September 2020, which were released today, show a 19% increase from three months earlier and a 76% rise since September 2019. he Home Office has used the backlog as a pretext to accommodate asylum seekers in converted military barracks in Wales and Kent. But the backlog is not an unforeseeable pandemic-induced crisis: it had been rising for several years, at a faster rate than the increase in asylum applications over the same period. Applications did rise by around a third between 2017 and 2019, but the backlog doubled.
Exclusive: Letter to home secretary raises concerns about sites holding 600 men in Kent and Pembrokeshire
Healthcare professionals have called for former army barracks being used to house asylum seekers to be closed over concerns about the residents’ wellbeing.
Medical staff have written to the home secretary, Priti Patel, with a damning assessment, to raise concerns about the sites at Napier barracks in Kent and Penally barracks in Pembrokeshire, which between them are holding more than 600 men.
The group, represented by Doctors of the World, a human rights organisation, believe the sites are unsuitable due to the lack of access to adequate and appropriate healthcare services and risks from a lack of compliance with Covid-19 regulations.
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.
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.