Dr Rhetta Moran, RAPAR Founder and member, and Dr Grainne McMahon, Research Lead and member, have recently published an article in Bristol University Press's Policy Press Journal of Poverty and Social Justice setting out key learning from RAPAR and the Babagar family's months-long campaign to expose inhuman conditions in global corporation Serco-run 'contingency hotels' utilised by the UK's Home Office to house people seeking asylum in the UK, and the State's egregious dereliction of statutory duty towards people seeking asylum.
The piece, published in May 2023 is entitled: Where does the buck stop? UK Home Office and other statutory body responses to allegations of human rights violations in two Serco-run hotels housing people seeking asylum (link to online version) and begins with the abstract:
RAPAR applies our participatory action research methods to amplify the living experience of families seeking asylum in the UK who are in ‘contingency accommodation’, aka ‘hotels’, and claiming human rights abuses on these sites. From all over the world, these people are without status in the UK and are therefore without recourse to the public funds that are, theoretically, available to everyone living in the UK with status. Their complete legal dependence on the Home Office and its subcontractors to ‘look after’ them and deal with any complaints leads to the question: why would anyone choose to challenge any organisation about human rights violations when that same organisation exercises such profound control over their day to day living reality? The data comprises contemporaneously collected evidence from individual correspondence, questionnaires, semi-structured conversations and case studies with hotel residents. Our preliminary analysis demonstrates considerable failures of statutory bodies in implementing their statutory duties. No evidence of meaningful investigation by any implicated statutory authority, or their privatised sub-contractors, into the human rights violation allegations asserted by hotel residents has been produced. The Local Authorities and the NHS insist that the Home Office is responsible for hotel residents within their boundaries. In turn, the Home Office, including Greater Manchester Police and sub-contractors Serco and Migrant Help, have failed to address the allegations in any transparent way.
We call for immediate action that enables hotel residents to safely protect themselves and stimulates inclusive solution-making, with them, to end these human rights violations. (Article here.)
After publication of the article, Policy Press invited the authors to contribute a blog to the international online publication Transforming Society. The blog post entitled 'It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule' sets out further understanding of how the UK's hostile environment's relentless spewing out of intrinsically racist policies allows for its longstanding scapegoating of people seeking refuge to continue and to thrive.
The blog begins: The UK government is actively compounding the human suffering that intrinsically racist immigration laws inflict on people seeking asylum.
In fact, our participatory action research over the last 15 months about what is happening to the displaced people who have been placed in ‘contingency hotels’ simply reinforces our certainty that, from the government’s perspective, the more demonising and suffering inflicted on people seeking refuge here, the more the public hears about that suffering, and the more that government’s contractual cronies, such as Migrant Help, get away with not only doing nothing to stop it but actually heaping injury on top, the better.
It is essential, in fact, that the demonising – and coverage of it – continues. (Blog here.)
See more about the campaign here.