As the Illegal Migration Bill is being rushed through Parliament, Jesuit Refugee Services today released a report on Napier Barracks, a former army base on a hilltop in Kent, where asylum seekers are being kept in desperately overcrowded, noisy, insanitary conditions for months - without explanation or support.
The report, which includes a series of interviews with refugees, shows the inhumane reality inside a system which threatens to expand exponentially if the Illegal Migration Bill legislation is passed.
"I was in Napier barracks for more than two months. I am now looking back at what I have been through and think how traumatising that experience was. The whole asylum process was traumatising, and Napier barracks was emblematic of that." Erfan, former resident of Napier Barracks.
"Disused military barracks are especially inappropriate as asylum accommodation. The military barracks are prison-like and institutional. In this report, men have shared how the conditions at Napier are reminiscent of conditions they fled. These quasi-detention conditions expose people to significant re-trauma. This serves no good purpose. It is ghettoising. It must not be the new normal for asylum accommodation in the UK. It is not too late to turn back." Sarah Teather, Director, JRS UK.
The government plans to make sites like Napier the new normal for asylum accommodation, and this report demonstrates how profoundly destructive that would be for all those involved.
Read the Report here: Napier Barracks: the inhumane reality | JRS UK