20 October 2020: Risk assessing hotels and barracks housing displaced people in the UK: Statement from StatusNow4All
We note that the role of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is to help improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of the Home Office’s border and immigration functions through unfettered, impartial and evidence-based inspection.
We note, in contrast, that the Home Office is attempting to side step this transparent system by hiring a private risk management company, Human Applications (https://ergonomics.org.uk/humanapplications) to provide a ‘rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and former military barracks, and provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19.’ Hastily arranged with minimal, non-transparent and selective third sector involvement, the Home Office have stated that they do not intend to make this report public.
Living conditions have the potential to compromise the physical and psychological health of people. Those displaced people currently accommodated by the Home Office in hotels and barracks around the UK are not being offered thorough assessment, especially in relation to the safeguarding concerns that arise from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Home Office is failing to demonstrate either an appropriate duty of care, or any transparent process. Similarly, the meaningful exercise of duty of care cannot be realised until there is a comprehensive test- track- trace and quarantine system that enables EVERYONE to participate, with confidence, throughout the UK.
Alongside our call for StatusNow4All https://statusnow4all.org/about-status-now/ to enable everyone to share equal access to healthcare, housing and food, we call for the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to conduct an immediate and independent inspection that ‘provides assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19’.