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Abandonment of disabled asylum seekers in the UK ruled as ‘systematic discrimination’

21 December 2020

In a ruling by the High Court, the Home Office’s claim that they were justified in discriminating against disabled asylum seekers, was struck out. The Departmen claimed that it was in the interests of immigration control and that they had no legal duty to provide adequate and accessible accommodation for disabled asylum-seekers.

The court found the home secretary, had violated her duties and had failed to monitor the accessibility of accommodation for disabled asylum-seekers. The Home Secretary claimed that she did not have a legal obligation to provide accessible housing, causing “huge delays” in the system.

The ruling found that the Home Office had failed asylum-seekers, who were exposed to long delays in receiving accommodation that suited their accessibility needs. The ruling also found that the European Convention on Human Rights and the Immigration and Asylum Act had been violated through this neglect.

The judge found that the neglect of disabled asylum seekers was “not deliberate” but continued none the less. This is a landmark case for the rights of disabled people in the asylum system

Structural inequalities persist throughout the asylum system, having profound impacts on disabled asylum-seekers.