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Conditions in UK hotels housing asylum seekers sub-standard, unsafe, report finds

Asylum seekers inside Napier Barracks on June 20, 2021 in Folkestone, England. [Hollie Adams/Getty Images]
Asylum seekers inside Napier Barracks on June 20, 2021 in Folkestone, England. [Hollie Adams/Getty Images]

A new report has found that conditions in hotels housing asylum seekers are sub-standard and sometimes unsafe.

For the report, over 50 asylum seekers in Glasgow provided information to academics at Edinburgh Napier University and their co-producers Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment.

The interim findings are that the relocation of these asylum seekers during the pandemic had a negative impact on their health with participants finding the temporary accommodation during the global pandemic unsafe and often like detention.

The findings are reminiscent of Napier Barracks in Folkestone, which is run by the private company Clearsprings, which has been heavily criticised by rights groups working inside as not being fit to house people.

At the height of the covid pandemic, men were living in dormitories separated only by a thin curtain whilst the advice was to socially distance.

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According to the report, a mother and baby unit in Glasgow was criticised by women as cramped and unsafe.

The 'Mothers and Baby Unit' had an adverse effect on their and their children's lives, which led the researchers to call for an independent assessment of the facility "as a matter of urgency."

Some of the asylum seekers were threatened with deportation by the accommodation staff if they did not relocate.

The report found that staying in hotel-type accommodation for long periods of time had a big impact on the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers.

Earlier this week Afghans who had been evacuated to the UK told the Guardian that they felt they were trapped in quarantine conditions longer than they should have been and only allowed out for an hour or two a day.

One Afghan interpreter described the hotel he was staying in in Swindon as a prison; saying he and his family had to book in at the front desk if they wanted to go for a walk. They were not informed how long they would have to stay there or where they would be going afterwards.

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