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UK: Home Office plans to house asylum seekers in barges is 'dismal'

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In response to Home Office plans to house people seeking asylum in disused cruise ships, barges and barracks, Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s Refugee and Migrant Rights Director, said:

“People who have escaped terror and torture, endured criminal exploitation and traumatic journeys should be treated with basic human dignity, not corralled on barges or other grossly inadequate and isolated accommodation.

“The Government wrecked the asylum system by choosing to stop or delay making decisions on thousands of people’s asylum claims - but the huge and expensive backlog it created is no excuse for failing to treat people properly.

“The consequences of dismal accommodation – subjecting people to prolonged squalor, social exclusion, mental and physical ill health, even outbreaks of fatal disease – keep being ignored.

“Ministers need to urgently focus on fairly and efficiently deciding people’s asylum claims while securing suitable accommodation in communities - but they recklessly continue to do the precise opposite at great human and financial cost.”

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