72. Memorandum from Karibu
1. ACCESS TO
Some key points:
The issue of destitution in Scotland
has mostly affected single people.
Living on 70% of income support and
the reduction of the support for children (aged 16) and the education
maintenance allowance forces families into poverty. In our experience
it is cheaper to look after the 5 years old than a 16 years old.
I know they are asylum children but
they also want to look like other teenagers and a lack of adequate
financial support prevents this.
Unnecessary disruption of support
provision which is not explained in advance.
Forced dispersal with new NASS contract
for who have been already settled in their areas and see no reason
for moving which causes disruption.
In Scotland there is a problem of
accommodating large families and overcrowdingboys and girls
are being forced to share a room even when they are old enough
not to share the bedroom.
2. THE PROVISION
Some key points:
Some GP don't want to take on asylum
Provision of health care should be
free for all irrespective of status.
Better interpretation services for
non English speakers.
Mental health issues in relation
to asylum which remain undiagnosed and untreated.
The challenge of HIV/AIDS and limited
work being done in this areas in Glasgow.
Some key points:
Discrimination in access to nursery
placement for asylum seekers children because the priority for
local nursery places is for local people and recognised refugees.
The impact of that on the mother/parent/guardian. The child misses
out on early learning issues and subsequently, encounters problems
when they start schools.
Support to 16 years and over who
still go to school and need school uniforms. They are not entitled
to free school meals but the parents are prohibited to work.
We know that support is reduced for
all 16 years old but the local 16 years old have the rights to
work and they also have access the education maintenance allowance.
Why not our children?
Prohibition of access to full time
professional courses at Colleges and University education.
The requirement for children to report
at immigration centre is very traumatic and it has devastating
effects on children's education and well being.
4. THE USE
People who are detained at the reporting
centre never get the chance to pack their belongings.
Even those who are detained at home
the restriction for them to do their own packing is extreme even
if it is for safety reasons. For example, one woman was not allowed
to pick her own underwear.
The separation of the children from
the parents even when the children are very young.
The handcuffing of parent or big
children has an impact on children.
The perceived relationship between
handcuff and criminals.
The absence of proper medical care
while in detention.
The role of the police at the point
of removal contradicts their role in the community as promoters
of peace and problem solvers.
Injury as result of people resisting
removal and immigration officers beating people to force them.
Eg A woman was removed to France after being beaten so badly and
France refused to take her as a result of her bad condition.
A Kenyan woman who died as result
of pain the process of removal.
Untold suicide cases and hunger strikes
Specified meal times in removal centres
are convenient for children who are not used to routine meal times.
Breastfeeding mothers are not given
milk and are told to drink water.
The Immigration Service rules state
that families should not be detained beyond a certain period but
we know of cases where they have been detained for months and
longer for example, the Ayr Family case.
The media portrayal of asylum fuels
racial tensions and exacerbates racial harassment. Each time there
is a bad article on asylum and immigration someone is bound to
be attacked on the street.
The media have to be stopped their
use of the term "illegal asylum seeker". In the UN Convention
terms there is no illegal asylum seeker term.