Friday, March 30, 2007

Asylum Seeker Health

The U.K. Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) today issued a report entitled Treatment of Asylum Seekers. To those not familiar with the British political system a Joint Committee consists of politicians of both the government and the opposition and from both Houses of Parliament.

The report stated there was "hard evidence of appalling treatment" by the Home Office and highlighted various cases including "
one case of a destitute Rwandan asylum-seeker who suffered bowel cancer and had a colostomy bag, but was refused treatment by a hospital and could not register with a doctor."

"The denial of health care for asylum-seekers and their children often amounted to a breach of human rights laws", the report added.

The Home Office has replied
"We simply do not think that it is right that those without any right to be in the UK should be given the right to work or access other services."

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (branch of the Home Office) let them in at a port-of-entry more often than not with a visa issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - if you have a visa, you have a right to be in the UK and so the state has a duty to ensure humane treatment. Additionally, the public health issues involved, of letting seriously ill people live in the community without any care are enormous.

This government constantly undermines the values that made Britain Great.

Link to the BBC report here, link to the JCHR here, link to the report here.

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