A human rights campaign was re-launched to end detention and fight against the ill-treatment of asylum seekers in the UK.
The These Walls Must Fall campaign organised by Magdaline Moyo, previously an asylum seeker, will re-launch online on 19th May to end detention centres and tackle The New Plan for Immigration.
The New Plan was announced by the Home Secretary Priti Patel in March, and Magdaline explained that these policies are potentially harmful to asylum seekers.
She added: “It’s not only inhuman to these people that were abused, but it’s not fair for them to be detained when they are in this country.
“People shouldn’t be treated as numbers. They already have stresses from leaving their country and families.
“You live your life every day thinking you might not go back home.
“They have to live in fear of being detained and deported.”
The New Plan stated that asylum seekers will have their claims inadmissible if they have travelled through a third safe country.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council responded in a press statement: “The government is effectively creating a two-tier system where some refugees are unfairly punished for the way they are able to get to the UK.
“This is wholly unjust and undermines the UK’s long tradition of providing protection for people, regardless of how they have managed to find their way to our shores.
“All refugees deserve to be treated with compassion and dignity, and it’s a stain on ‘Global Britain’ to subject some refugees to differential treatment.”
Asylum seekers often experience culture shock, language barriers, unfamiliarity, and are thrown into cold weather while struggling to fit into the community when they arrive, Magdaline said.
She added that women face sexual abuse while having to pay their way to the next stop on their journey to the UK.
Asylum seekers waiting for case approval are constantly at risk of being detained despite their compliance with regulations to attend scheduled visits to reporting centres.
During the immigration interview people are harshly interrogated, Magdaline explained, and the treatment in detention centres are “horrible” and “inhuman” according to the stories of victims that reached out to her organisation.
Asylum decisions under the recently announced New Plan will now require all claims to be made upfront and those who exclude information will risk having an unsuccessful case.
To which Magdaline said: “People are vulnerable and scared.
“The things I was able to talk about in my case, it was only after I met other organisations and gone for counselling where I found support emotionally.
“But if people need to say their cases from the get-go, it’s not going to be easy.
“We have LGBTQ+ members who don’t want their families knowing about their sexuality and they don’t understand that in a free-country, these people still have that trauma.
“It takes time for such people to come out and share everything exactly how it happened.”
Home Secretary, Priti Patel said in her speech at the House of Commons on 24th March that an overwhelming 109,000 claims are sitting in the asylum queue.
Furthermore, some 52,000 are awaiting an initial asylum decision, with almost three quarters of those waiting a year or more.
In favour of the policies, Priti added: “Our new system will be faster and fairer and will help us better support the most vulnerable.
“The UK is playing its part to tackle the inhumanity of illegal migration.”
Magdaline said: “It is our duty to educate people because we need those people who have the advantages, such as being British citizens, to support us so that we can support these vulnerable people.”
Take action by visiting this page to support These Walls Must Fall’s campaign.