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ASYLUM SEEKERS NO LONGER FORCED TO SLEEP ROUGH

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Shelter applauded the High Court's guidance that should result in ...
Shelter applauded the High Court's guidance that should result in

vulnerable asylum seekers being given support and accommodation,

preventing them from being forced into destitution and sleeping on the

streets (see LGCnet). The judge rebuked the Home Office for

continuing to ignore the basic human rights of hundreds of asylum

seekers under Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act

2002, and for failing to resolve asylum claims expeditiously. This

outcome leaves the legislation virtually redundant and the charity,

which intervened in the case, is continuing its call for it to be

scrapped.

Adam Sampson, director of Shelter, said: 'The government's determination

to pursue this vindictive policy has to led to hundreds of people being

forced into destitution and sleeping rough. This guidance makes it clear

that the Home Office must provide accommodation and support for asylum

seekers awaiting decisions on their application and decide on cases much

faster.'

Shelter says that Section 55 is having a wide and worrying impact.

Refugee organisations across the country are now reporting that, as well

as witnessing a rapid increase in street homelessness, there are serious

levels of overcrowding within refugee households. This week, a man

working for a refugee community organisation accommodated five strangers

from his home country in his one bedroom flat, and helped another woman

at 2 in the morning because she was alone on the street. Children are

sharing their bedrooms with strangers and relationships are breaking

down due to the strain of accommodating homeless people.

Notes

For more information about Shelter visit www.shelter.org.uk

Shelter is a national campaigning charity that every year works with

over 100,000 homeless or badly housed people through its network of over

50 advice centres and innovative projects. It also runs Shelterline,

supported by Bradford & Bingley, the UK's free, 24 hour, national

housing advice line on 0808 800 4444, and Shelternet a free, online,

housing advice website at www.shelternet.org.uk

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