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Asylum Seekers Living Conditions In Scotland Continue To Deteriorate

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees | Published: 09/12/2016 | Views: 797

New report from W-ASH, Asylum Seeker Housing Project.

The research confirms that living conditions for asylum seekers from 2015 to 2016 have not improved but worsened.



 

The findings indicate;

* 1 in 3 asylum seekers reported problems with essential amenities including cooking facilities and hot water supplies (page 13)

* 1 in 3 were unhappy or very unhappy with the general quality of the housing allocated to them (page 15)

* 4 in 5 complained about the quality of basic furnishings provided including beds and wardrobes (page 17)

The attitude of Orchard and Shipman Staff continued to be a cause for concern with asylum seekers commenting;

* 'They don't' respect my right to privacy and dignity as a human being. They don't care about my safety and feelings’

* 'It takes them ages to respond and I don't know why'

* 'Got tired of reporting faults so I don't report any more. Don't want to be stressed'

Overall, only 1 in 5 asylum seekers told us that they found Orchard and Shipman staff helpful.

On the 1st of December 2016, the multi national company Serco took over it's subcontractor Orchard and Shipman after similar concerns as thoseOn the 1st of December 2016, the multi national company Serco took over it's subcontractor Orchard and Shipman after similar concerns as those highlighted in this report were expressed by support agencies, the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Scottish Government.

Sheila Arthur, W-ASH Project Manager said:

'We welcome Serco taking over full responsibility for providing accommodation services for asylum seekers in Scotland. This report clearly demonstrates that their sub-contractor, Orchard and Shipman failed to appropriately provide services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Hopefully this is a 'fresh start' and we urge Serco to implement the recommendations contained in our report'

These include;

1. Listen to the views of asylum seekers and involve them in the future development of the service

2. Train Serco staff so that they have a better understanding of the vulnerabilities and needs of asylum seekers

3. Urgently carry out a systematic review of the current housing portfolio for asylum seekers in Scotland, to ensure it meets Home Office standards and complies with current Scottish legislation.

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