Migrant crossings resume as report warns asylum seekers at risk of exploitation

Crossings in small boats in the English Channel resumed Thursday after two calm days.

No crossing was recorded Tuesday or Wednesday, according to figures from the Ministry of Defense.

A total of 696 people made the dangerous journey on Monday, the busiest day for Channel crossings so far this year, and were taken to the Port of Ramsgate due to traffic problems around the Port of Dover.

The Border Force vessel Hurricane brought around 40 to 50 people, including a small number of children, to Dover on Thursday morning, and activity in the English Channel suggested there would be more later in the day.

The news came after a report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the British Red Cross, published on Wednesday, found that critical shortcomings in the UK asylum system mean that people seeking security – including those fleeing modern slavery – risk being threatened. operation.

These include an over-reliance on people having to identify themselves as victims of exploitation and an over-focus on immigration enforcement rather than safety and security. protection, which means that people often feel unable to disclose their experiences.

Inadequate training for government officials, delays in decision-making, substandard housing and insufficient support also leave people vulnerable to poverty and exploitation, the report said.

Research has shown that inadequate support puts people in need of protection at potential risk.

He cites examples of vulnerable asylum seekers forced into modern slavery, including domestic servitude, sexual and labor exploitation and forced criminality.

A report by the UN and the British Red Cross has found that critical gaps in the UK asylum system mean those seeking safety may be at risk of potential exploitation (Gareth Fuller/PA)

(PA wire)

The report concludes: “Direct changes to the asylum procedure would reduce these risks of exploitation by placing security at the heart of the asylum system.

Recommendations include:

– Improved screening at all stages of the asylum procedure to ensure that vulnerabilities and risks are identified and addressed.

– Individual security must take priority over immigration law enforcement to ensure that protection is not sidelined.

– Housing should be safe and secure.

– Decisions need to be made in good time to avoid unnecessary delays and allow people to start rebuilding their lives as quickly as possible.

– Faster support to people after they have obtained a positive asylum decision to help them access housing and financial support.

British Red Cross Executive Director Zoe Abrams said: “We listened to the powerful stories and testimonies of those who best understand our asylum system – people with first-hand experience of life and work with this one.

By putting safety at the heart of our asylum system, we can ensure that people can live in dignity with the support they need while they wait for their case to be decided.

Zoe Abrams, British Red Cross

“They told us that our current system fails to protect vulnerable people and unwittingly puts them at risk of exploitation.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or how you got here; people seeking asylum in the UK must be protected. In the debate on migration management, we need to focus not only on enforcement but also on humanity.

“The UK is proud to have helped people fleeing war and persecution – we are privileged as a country to be able to keep people in crisis safe.

“By putting safety at the heart of our asylum system, we can ensure that people can live in dignity with the support they need while they wait for their case to be decided.

A group of people believed to be migrants are brought to Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel (Gareth Fuller/PA)

(PA wire)

The Home Office said it was reviewing the report’s findings.

A spokesperson said: ‘We take the safety and well-being of thousands of people in asylum accommodation very seriously and are committed to ensuring that individuals are protected from crime. abhorrence of modern slavery.

“When we suspect that an asylum seeker is in danger or at risk of being exploited, we will take appropriate action, such as working with the police or supporting someone through the national referral mechanism. We urge all asylum seeker who may be in difficulty to report it immediately.

“Our new plan for immigration will fix the broken asylum system, allowing us to give protection to those who are entitled to it and remove more quickly those who have no right to be here.”

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