Refugee Policy

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  • Home Office is responsible for refugees
  • G4S, Serco and Clearsprings Group have contracts to house asylum seekers. They are known as Compass contractors (Commercial and Operational Managers Procuring Asylum Support Services), and their current arrangements are set to run until Sept.2019.
  • Note: Asylum seeker = someone who is waiting for their status to be determined.
  • A refugee = an asylum seeker who has been granted refugee status.

Asylum Seekers

  • Sept.06.2018: UK’s asylum dispersal system close to 'catastrophic failure'. Britain’s asylum dispersal system is on the brink of collapse, according to a number of “unprecedented” warning letters written by council leaders and politicians to the Home Office. There were 26,350 asylum applications in 2017. The decision to write en masse to the govt has been prompted by the new asylum accommodation contracts – one of the govt's largest procurements, worth more than £4bn over 10 years – which are out to tender. They will replace the existing Compass contracts, delivered by G4S, Serco and Clearsprings in 2019. Despite the huge sum of public money involved, local authorities and politicians say there has been little to no public or parliamentary scrutiny of the contracts. A bid by G4S was not accepted by the Home Office. “Our previous experience of the Home Office managing the transition of asylum housing contracts in 2012 was unfortunately one of failure. G4S were unable to fulfil their contract, and mass sudden homelessness of hundreds of asylum seekers was only prevented by local authorities stepping in. It is not apparent that lessons have been learned.” Aileen Campbell, Communities secretary in the Scottish govt, said it was “deeply concerned”. “The handling of the procurement process for the next asylum accommodation contract, particularly the barriers put up to a public sector bid for the contract and the limited engagement with Scottish partners, is extremely disappointing,” she said. The Welsh govt cabinet minister Julie James said recently it had made a number of attempts to gain access to the contracts but were unsuccessful. Katie McSherry, who leads on accommodation issues nationally for Asylum Matters, said: “We are shocked that the government is pushing through such a model with the intention of it being binding for the next 10 years, without even a review period built in.” A Home Office spokesman said "Word Salad". Amelia Hill, The Guardian.
  • Apr.24.2018: Home Office faces court action over asylum children. The govt will face legal action tomorrow over extensive delays in child asylum cases amid mounting criticism of the way the Home Office is dealing with thousands of unaccompanied minors in the UK. Delays have become so widespread that lawyers are bringing a judicial review case against the Home Office, based on two test cases. The Home Office says it is committed to resolving 98% of cases within 6 months, but says some child asylum cases are complex and take longer to resolve. But those children, and about 5,000 more who have arrived in Britain irregularly since early 2016, have faced a difficult reception in the UK. There have been delays of up to 2 years in cases being resolved. Harriet Grant, The Guardian.


Associated Groups

  • Crisis, homeless charity:
  • Migrant Voice:
  • Rapar (Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research:
  • The Boaz Trust, a charity supporting destitute asylum seekers: