Mark Whitehead 31 July 2018

Asylum seeker evictions will create 'humanitarian crisis’, Scottish politicians warn

Asylum seeker evictions will create humanitarian crisis’, Scottish politicians warn   image

Glasgow politicians are urging the home secretary to prevent a 'humanitarian crisis' by halting outsourcing company Serco's plans to evict hundreds of failed asylum seekers.

Cross-party councillors and MPs have signed a letter by Cllr Susan Aitken, SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, saying the move would leave an estimated 300 men, women and children destitute.

It says there was no meaningful engagement with Serco before its decision to start changing the locks of the accommodation of those who have not been granted refugee status, despite the council’s status as a Home Office partner in the asylum dispersal programme.

'We would have expected significantly better consultation with key stakeholders about this shift in policy and the failure to engage has left us disappointed in the process that has been followed,' the letter says.

It adds: 'We stand collectively for treating people fairly, and with decency, dignity and respect and we do not think that locking vulnerable people out of their homes ascribes to these values.

'The evidence in Glasgow over a number of years now is that the policy, as carried out by Serco as the contract holder, of evicting people who have exhausted the asylum process is far less likely to lead to their voluntarily leaving the UK than it is to their joining the city’s homeless and rough sleeper populations, further increasing their vulnerability and significantly adding to the pressures on services provided by the organisations who work in the frontline in this field.'

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