Irish Refugee Council criticises safety standards for asylum centres

Irish Times: 8.8.2020: Half of people in direct provision ‘unable’ to social distance

A sign at the entrance to a direct provision centre in Co Kildare that suffered a Covid-19 outbreak. File photograph: Colin Keegan/CollinsShare to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Email App

Half of people living in direct provision have been unable to social distance from other residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, while more than 40 per cent continue to share a room with a non-family member, according to new research seen by The Irish Times.

The Irish Refugee Council’s (IRC) Powerless report, which examines the experiences of direct provision residents during the pandemic, says asylum seekers are suffering “fear and trepidation” because of their “inability to control” their health and safety during the pandemic.

The call to end direct provision has become “more compelling than ever” in the context of the pandemic, the council says. The new Government has committed to ending the system.

Two levels of safety standards have been created during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to IRC chief executive Nick Henderson. “One for the general public, where social distancing is encouraged, and another for people in residential settings such as direct provision, where sharing of intimate space is implicitly accepted.” …

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Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

JCWI: 4 August 2020 We won! Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

We are delighted to announce that the Home Office has agreed to scrap its ‘visa streaming’ algorithm, in response to legal action we launched with tech-justice group Foxglove.

From Friday, 7 August, Home Secretary Priti Patel will suspend the “visa streaming” algorithm “pending a redesign of the process,” which will consider “issues around unconscious bias and the use of nationality” in automated visa applications.

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FammzTV: call for amnesty for undocumented people

There are a number of calls for Leave to Remain in relation to people who are undocumented and in UK.

As a reminder, Status Now 4 All calls for Leave to Remain to be given to all undocumented migrants and those in the legal process.

This person has written to Boris Johnson and others, and will be outside 10 Downing Street on Saturday 8 August 2020 to press his point. He invites others to join him See his call, and the Government response to his petition below:

Fammztv@FAMMZTV Gathering at Number 10 Downing street London on Saturday 8th August 2020 13.00 to 15.00…. | Hindi/Urdu | FAMMZ TV

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Asylum seekers remain at heightened risk of contracting Covid without stronger action from the Home Office

28 July 2020: Home Affairs Committee publishes a report on Home Office preparedness for Covid-19: institutional accommodation

[Comment: so many issues of concern, for example: the use of immigration detention – renewed call for 28 day limit; strong criticism on many levels of decisions made by housing providers to move people into ‘hotel’ accommodation and take away their personal allowance; the need for proper safeguarding, risk assessment, and impact on mental health in relation to people in multi-occupation accommodation; difficulties experienced in remaining safe in multi-occupation units for people themselves and in relation to others around them – and strong criticism of putting two strangers in one room; lack of provision of internet to enable people to access information, consult GPs etc.; lack of provision of sanitising and other products or increase in allowance to enable people to buy these themselves.]

Please read the summary and conclusions/recommendations below to get some idea of what people in the asylum system have been experiencing.

Status Now for All #healthandsafetyforall … The coronavirus is with us for the long term. If Leave to Remain were given to all undocumented people and those in the legal process, provision would be made to enable them to able to access the services they need, and these problems would not continue going forward.

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Residents of Cahersiveen direct provision centre on hunger strike

Residents are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres
Residents are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres

29 July 2020: RTÉ: Around 30 residents of a controversial direct provision centre at Cahersiveen in Co Kerry, say they have begun refusing food, describing their living conditions as inhumane.

They are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres elsewhere in the country.

The centre is located at the former Skellig Star boutique hotel and was opened in mid-March, when over 100 residents were moved there.

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#WeNeedAnswers Campaign

The Ubele Initiative, a social enterprise which supports BAME communities which coined the #WeNeedAnswers campaign, has sent an urgent pre-action protocol 23-page letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after they say he did not acknowledge or respond to two previous pleas for action voicing concerns over BAME deaths.

As reported by ITV: read here

From The Ubele Initiative: BREAKING NEWS: We’ve launched legal action with @LeighDay_Law against the Government over their failure to ta… 20, 2020, 6:50 PM

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