Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels etc.

This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites:

Penally camp is apparently shutting permanently, due in part to pressure from Welsh MPs. The Home Office will continue to use Napier camp for now.. You can write to your MP in support of the #CloseTheBarracks campaign.

23 April 2021: Guardian: Report condemns Home Office failures at barracks used to house asylum seekers

Exclusive: documents seen by the Guardian criticises serious errors in management of Napier and Penally sitesThe full scale of Home Office failures in managing former military sites as makeshift accommodation for asylum seekers is laid bare in a raft of damning documents seen by the Guardian.

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Impact of Covid-19 on migrants – watch our videos

Migrant Voice: Learn about the impact of Covid-19 on migrants with limited or no Leave to Remain – hear their stories.

The Building Resilience project provides spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the pandemic and form networks of solidarity.

Responding to Covid-19: Building Resilience project, running between November 2020 and April 2021, aims to organise, empower and build networks with some of the migrant communities most marginalised by Covid-19. It is a partnership project between Migrant Voice, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, and RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research).

Watch all the videos here

Why So Many Filipino Health Workers Are Dying Of Covid-19

12 April 2021: Huffington Post: A reluctance to say no to overtime, crowded housing, and overrepresentation on the front line have left thousands at risk.

Filipino healthcare workers in the UK are disproportionately dying of Covid-19 as they are afraid to say no to extra shifts, campaigners have revealed.

At least 71 frontline health and care workers of Filipino heritage have died in the UK of coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to organisations supporting Filipino communities who have been compiling their own figures based on social media.

HuffPost UK has heard how workers fear turning down overtime could jeopardise their jobs, and many need the extra money to send to families in the Philippines who are relying on them.

“The real figure of how many Filipino health and care workers have died in the UK will undoubtedly be higher,” says Susan Cueva, a trustee at Kanlungan. The charity brings together a group of organisations working for the welfare and interests of Filipino and other British migrant communities.

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We Will Not Be Silenced – a poem by Loraine Masiya Mponela

We will not be silenced By Loraine Masiya Mponela

As we navigate a system

That is created not to care for people

A system built on racism and greed

We are told: you need to behave

Do not speak up it will affect your case

As we wait for decisions for years

A decade of anxious anticipation

Without stability and certainty of the indefinite leave to remain

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Human Beings, Not Commodities: Status Now 4 All Summit

25 March 2021: People seeking asylum should be treated like human beings, says a major organisation supporting migrants.

Responding to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s ‘biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades’, Nazek Ramadan, the Executive Director of Migrant Voice who will be chairing the Status Now 4All Summit: One YearOn ( this Saturday, said:

“It is based on false premises – particularly on the actual availability of legal routes – and tears apart the principle of the right to claim asylum.

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A Letter to the People of the UK

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 January has written a powerful letter to the People of the UK. We are honoured to share it here.

The letter can also be found here: Help Refugees:

A Letter to the People of the UK

Dear People of the UK,

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.

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Bloody Sunday in the Philippines

From one of our Filipino signatories: one of the reasons for Filipino workers exodus is the tyrannical regime in the Philippines which has killed thousands of Filipinos already. Apologies for more depressing news from us but we have to expose this brutal regime.

13 March 2021: Labour Hub: Bloody Sunday in the Philippines By Mike Phipps

Just under a week ago, at least nine human rights activists were killed in the Philippines, in what is locally being called ‘Bloody Sunday’ – yet there has been barely a word about it in the western media.

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Vice: Europe’s Forgotten Graveyard

8 March 2021: Today, on International Women’s Day: we remember those women bearing children in the middle of it all, and those children who lost their mothers. One is told his mother stayed in the water. That will haunt him for ever as he tries to work out what that meant …

Desperate people in desperate circumstances need a safe place to live. An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

It is time for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK.

They ask why there is no European Search & Rescue Area.

This is a film made in November 2020: Vice: An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty. We went on the frontline with a rescue mission trying to save as many lives as possible.

We join the ‘Open Arms’ crew as they embark on the most dangerous migrant route in the world — and one of their deadliest missions to date.

An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

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Life in ‘contingency units’

The Home Office says that people are assessed as to their suitability for life in the camps – Penally and Napier – people who have been sent to the camps said that there was no assessment carried out to their knowledge, other than on first arrival when they may not have fully understood the situation or the language (or interpreter). 

In relation to social distancing, people who have been living in the camps describe sharing sleeping areas with many other people, having to use communal showers, sharing toilets with many others,  eating in a large area which everyone is expected to use,  one communal room for socialising for everyone where the internet signal could be found and the (two) TVs were kept.  

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2 February 2021  Migrants Organise

This blog was written by Ruth, a member of Migrants Organise, following an organising training session with a number of other Migrants Organise members. 

UK is in a third lockdown. But how is it for undocumented migrants?

Life continues as normal. Everyone is told to stay at home to control the virus and to save the NHS. If you are an Asylum Seeker or an Undocumented migrant you can’t afford to stay at home as you have to survive because you are not entitled to Universal Credit or to be furloughed from your job. If you are displaying symptoms of Covid, you cannot isolate as you have to work to provide for basic essential needs.

We are scared to go to the GP or the hospital because you might be asked to provide ID and to prove your immigration status which can be embarrassing, as you can be turned away from receiving medical help.

I spoke to a friend who is undocumented yesterday, and this is what she told me:

Read more:

Asylum Seekers of Napier barracks speak out

Following the fire at Napier camp on 29 January 2021, we have received the following letter from Napier Camp residents. Please read the letter below from 22 January 2021 also.

30 January 2021: Dear all,
As one of the residents in Napier Barracks and on behalf of so many of my friends here, I want to express my sadness and sorrow for what had happened yesterday. It was horrible to see a building burning, see the fear in everyone’s eyes and to see the staff in difficulty and pain. We want to say how sorry and disappointed we are, that this incident affected people. Especially the staff, firefighters, police and etc.

As you all know, living in a terrible condition and unsafe when it comes to Covid, affected all the residents physically and mentally. Their protests, hunger strikes and suicide attempts were all ignored from the Home Office. This incident was not something that we all wanted to happen.

People respond to anger differently. Each of us react in our own unique way when we are desperate and disappointed. Some may protest peacefully, some refuse to eat, some commit suicide and when you are even more ignored some may lose control. I want you all know that this was not something that we all can approve. The majority of us are against violence as we escaped it.

Words cannot express our shame and sadness, our solidarity with the ones who are affected by it.

I also want to ask the Home Office and other authorities to take action against violence and also make sure that Napier Barracks will be closed as it is no longer safe and secure. It is mandatory to see the people in camps as human beings and desperate people. We are all the same, thus we all express our emotions differently when we are under pressure.
Last but not least, we all want to thank the police and firefighters who helped everyone to be safe and fine.

Asylum seekers of Napier Barracks

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12 Oct 2020 Vigil – lives destroyed by the hostile environment

2020 October 10: There was a Vigil this evening commemorating lives destroyed by the hostile environment, and remembering the death ten years ago of Jimmy Mubenga at the hands of G4S guards as he was being removed from UK; and others who have died due to this hostile environment … #SolidarityKnowsNoBorders

From the event:

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