Open letter to Home Secretary and Immigration Minister
“I feel like I am not welcomed here and UK asylum policies have successfully stripped away my sense of belonging. I am worried about plans for detaining people in unsafe environments for long periods of time and the impact this will have on us.”- asylum seeker in Home Office accommodation
As the first people arrive on the controversial Bibby Stockholm barge, we, the undersigned, urge the Government to abandon its plans to accommodate migrants including refugees in unsuitable and dangerous accommodation.
Barges, military bases and other proposed accommodation will not meet the standards set out in the Home Office’s own accommodation requirements. Sites such as barges have been described as oppressive environments. People living in Home Office accommodation are already reporting feelings of isolation and they are concerned that accommodating them on barges and disused military sites will further isolate them from the community with restricted access to basic provisions, advice and support.
In addition, we are deeply concerned by reports that asylum seekers have been threatened with having Government support withdrawn if they do not board the barge. No one should be punished for not wanting to live in unsafe accommodation and we ask that this tactic cease immediately.
Everyone deserves to be part of a community: the Government must support people seeking sanctuary and enable them to set down roots in their new communities. We urge the Government to abandon its proposals for these inappropriate sites for accommodation and instead commit to work closely with local authorities and supporting organisations to create local solutions with the proper resources.
Photo credit: Sky News
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