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Asylum-seekers in UK under 'Rwanda threat' if they complain: Report

March 23, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Pro-migrant protesters gather in the Parliament Square during a demonstration against government’s controversial immigration bill, in London United Kingdom [Raşid Necati Aslım – Anadolu Agency]

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking people in the UK face various threats, including deportation to Rwanda, if they complain about the condition of housing, according to a report by a refugee advocate group, Anadolu News Agency reports.

A new report, released on Thursday and titled “Hostile Accommodation” by Refugee Action revealed that people in asylum accommodation exposed conditions that actively harm their physical and mental health.

“People in asylum accommodation who complain have been threatened with police or deportation to Rwanda, or banned from common areas. In one case, people holding a peaceful protest were warned by police and told to leave the accommodation if they were unhappy.”

READ: UK advances Illegal Migration Bill as protests continue

On the condition of housing unaccompanied people, non-profit Refugee Action group said that problems created by bad accommodation will be made “much worse by Government plans to lock up tens of thousands of refugees in indefinite detention” under new legislation.

The report also found that people stay in hotels for longer periods of time, while they are also being held in “de-facto detention” as their movements are monitored and limited.

“Poor accommodation results in a huge, sometimes life threatening, impact on health as people with chronic conditions are hospitalised by unhealthy food and disabled people left in accommodation they struggle to access and leave,” it noted.

Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive of the group, said that the Illegal Migration Bill will severely worsen the already bad conditions.

“The Bill must be torn up and the housing system overhauled and local authorities and NGOs properly funded to run an integrated housing, support and legal advice service,” he added

Hostile Accommodation, based on analysis from mid-2021 to January 2023 by surveying of 100 people in Manchester, Birmingham and London, noted the group.

Introduced early this month the UK government’s “Illegal Migration Bill,” aimed at removing migrants entering the country on small boats, the plan includes detaining the majority of those arriving on small boats for the first 28 days without bail or judicial review.

READ: UNHCR appeals to UK to uphold international obligations as Sunak reveals 5-point immigration plan