Open letter to Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow 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
We, the undersigned, urge Labour to commit to stop the use of barges and other unsafe asylum accommodation should they come into government.
We are concerned by the news that a potential Labour government will continue to use unsafe asylum accommodation such as barges, military bases and other proposed accommodation, despite the fact they do not meet the standards set out in the Home Office’s own accommodation requirements. Sites such as barges have been described as oppressive environments as well as unsafe by the Fire Brigades Union. 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.
Everyone deserves to be part of a community: Labour must support people seeking sanctuary and enable them to set down roots in their new communities. We urge Labour to reconsider its proposals for these inappropriate sites for accommodation and instead commit to speaking and engaging with people already in Home Office asylum accommodation, including those that are placed on barges and disused military sites. It is important their voices are heard, and they share what appropriate and humane asylum accommodation should look like.
Find out more
The Hostile Office