G4S takeover has been a ‘disaster for asylum seekers’

24dash.com: G4S’s takeover of asylum housing under the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) COMPASS contracts has been a disaster for asylum seekers and their families in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East, a new report claims.

Compiled for the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, the report also alleges that the allocation of the contracts to an international security company rather than a housing provider suggests that the contracts were allocated for political rather than commercial reasons. Continue reading

The Home Affairs Committee is today launching an inquiry into Asylum.

Asylum: 25 February 2013

 Home Affairs Committee is today launching an inquiry into Asylum.

The Committee’s inquiry will include, but will not be limited to, analysis of:

  • The process of claiming asylum;
  • The treatment of applicants; and
  • Post-decision outcome.

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“It is a decade since the Committee undertook a focused inquiry in to the asylum system. The Committee will be looking at how robust and efficient it is.

The latest figures from UKBA show a 53% rise in the number of asylum cases waiting more than 6 months for an initial decision.

We intend to evaluate the system and suggest improvements in a number of areas in order to ensure that the right decision is made first time, in a suitable time frame and with as little bureaucracy as possible.” Continue reading

When Maternity Doesn’t Matter

On 25.2.2013 Maternity Action and Refugee Council launch new research that investigates the health impact of dispersal and relocation on pregnant women and new mothers seeking asylum.

The authors say:
When maternity doesn’t matter is based on personal reports by current or former asylum seeking women and from midwives who have looked after such women before and after dispersal. We were shocked to discover the extent of the damaging impact that dispersal has on pregnant asylum seeking women, who already have some of the poorest maternal health outcomes in the UK.
We will use the report to campaign for UKBA to re-write its dispersal policies for pregnant women. We plan to ask supporters to help us by emailing their MPs to request they write to the Home Secretary, asking her to take action on this issue. It would be fantastic if you could promote the campaign to your networks too. Continue reading

Debate on Asylum support for children and young people 27.1.2013

Sarah Tether MP will introduce a debate on “Asylum support for children and young people” on Wednesday 27 February (9.30-11.00am).. This follows the report of the cross party Parliamentary Inquiry into this issue in January 2013. The Inquiry made several positive recommendations, including  that: Section 4 should be abolished, that asylum support should be increased annually at least in line with Income Support, that the rates of support should never fall below 70% of Income Support and that permission to work should be granted if an asylum application has not been concluded within six months.    Continue reading

ASYLUM SUPPORT RATES Early day motion 1019

Ask your MP to sign EDM 1019:

That this House believes that Britain can rightly be proud of its history of welcoming those fleeing persecution and war; welcomes the cross-party parliamentary report on asylum support for children and families; notes with concern the finding of that report that current asylum support levels are leaving up to 10,000 children destitute or in severe poverty; further believes that section 4 support rates are especially austere and that cashless payments impose damaging restrictions on how families buy essential items; further notes that asylum support rates have not been increased since April 2011; regrets that the previous Government broke the historic link between support rates for asylum seekers and income support; calls on the Government to increase asylum support rates so that they are at least equal to 70 per cent of income support and to up-rate support rates annually; and further calls on the Government to abolish section 4 support and implement a single cash-based support system.