UK: Plan to house people seeking asylum on a barge is 'ministerial cruelty' 

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In response to reported Home Office plans to house people seeking asylum on large barges, Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s Refugee and Migrant Rights Director, said:

“Confining hundreds of people in isolation on a barge is just more of the political theatre that the Government has created to obscure its gross mismanagement of the asylum system.

“Along with the disastrous Rwanda scheme, all talk of barges, cruise ships and former military barracks should be abandoned.

“Anyone seeking asylum in this country should be housed in decent accommodation with proper facilities and, crucially, their claims should be properly and consistently processed.

“Everything that’s gone wrong in the Government’s handling of the asylum system can be traced back to a deliberate move by ministers to slow or even shut down the asylum decision-making process, then blaming the victims of this decision for its cost to justify further hardline and reckless policies.

“Instead of more ministerial cruelty, we need sweeping asylum reforms, with an emphasis on deciding claims fairly and efficiently, acting on those decisions, eliminating wasteful repeat reconsiderations of decisions that people are entitled to asylum, and making a real effort to reduce huge backlogs and unreasonable Home Office workloads.”

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