Making asylum seekers work for housing breaches human rights

    The government’s proposal for failed asylum seekers who
    are unable to return home to carry out community work in order to
    qualify for accommodation could breach the European Convention on
    Human Rights, peers and MPs have warned this week,
    writes Amy Taylor.

    A report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights also criticised
    the government for tabling amendments to the Asylum and Immigration
    (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill, now in its final stages,
    without adequate warning or a clear explanation of ministers’
    view of the human rights implications.

    It accuses the government of undermining the proper democratic
    scrutiny of the human rights implications of legislation in its

    Peers and MPs state that there is a “significant risk”
    that refusing or withdrawing housing to a failed asylum seeker who
    is unable to return to their own country on the grounds that they
    refuse to do community work will be in breach of Article 3 ECHR.
    This states that no one should be subjected to “inhuman or
    degrading treatment”.

    The government recently lost its appeal against a High Court ruling
    that being made destitute as a result of denial of state support
    may breach of Article 3.

    However, the committee’s report states that the
    government’s proposal for refugees to only be eligible for
    social housing in the areas they have been dispersed to is unlikely
    to breach Article 8 of the ECHR, which states that everyone has the
    right to a private and family life, as long as refugees are also
    allowed to apply for housing in the area where he has family

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