Branch Secretary : info@housingworkers.org.uk
  

Forced deportation of rough sleepers discriminatory

Internal Home Office reports finds discrimination

 

New immigration rules to criminalise and deport rough sleepers may discriminate against ethnic minorities, including Asian women who have survived domestic violence according to an internal report by the Home Office itself.

 

An equality impact assessment obtained by Liberty Investigates accepts the potential of the rule to indirectly discriminate on the grounds of race, since some factors leading to homelessness disproportionately affect people from particular ethnicities. “The main reason Asian women give for being homeless is because of domestic violence,” the assessment states as reported by The Observer.

 

Institutional Racism

 

The document also accepts that rough sleepers with disabilities “may experience greater disadvantage” if deported to countries with poor access to support services.

 

The revelation comes after a government sponsored report minimised institutional racism in the UK – see Unites response here.

 

Unite housing workers have campaigned against the deportation of rough sleepers when covertly caried out by homelessness agencies such as Thames Reach and St Mungo’s as well as the recent legal changes that could lead to large scale deportations. While agencies and local authorities have publicly declared opposition, we reported on concerning evidence that agencies and local authorities could be drawn into cooperation with the Home Office despite public statements.

 

Charter opposing deportation

 

We have launched a charter opposing deportations and it is clear that a vigilant campaign will be needed until legislation is changed.

 

Policies associated with creating a hostile environment make the work of homelessness workers more difficult and make ‘hard to reach’ groups even harder to reach. Unite will continue to back homelessness workers and their clients.

 

Members wishing to be involved this campaign should speak to their Unite rep or email Jack Jeffery, branch secretary.

 

Paul Kershaw Chair Unite housing workers (LE1111 branch)

 

Sunday 4th April 2021

 

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