Investigations into destitution and asylum

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament will soon consider the issue of destitution and asylum seekers in Scotland and ways in which public services can mitigate destitution. They want to hear from asylum seekers or those who have been through the asylum process (or their families and friends) who are either experiencing destitution, or have experience of being destitute while seeking asylum.

They also welcome hearing from voluntary, charitable, religions/faith groups, community leaders and third sector organisations that support or advocate for destitute asylum seekers.

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Meanwhile a report by the Home Affairs Committee at Westminster into asylum accommodation has identified problems for asylum seekers including vermin infestations, bedbugs, rotten sofas, dirty carpets and inadequate support for vulnerable people.

In addition, contractors are housing more people than they were funded for because of the contract design, growing delays in Home Office asylum processing and higher applications.

The committee has recommended giving local authorities powers of inspection, higher standards and new penalties. It said this process should be reformed to take account of the experience and particular needs of extremely vulnerable people including victims of torture and trafficking, those with issues relating to gender, women who are pregnant and new mothers.

It also recommended action by the Home Office to speed up processing so fewer people need asylum accommodation and said it warned in previous reports that a backlog in cases has been developing. Those warnings were “not heeded and the consequences are now evident” it added.
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Image credit: The Skint Dad Blog

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