Championing Asylum Rights After Death of Whole Family
The decision not to carry out a fatal accident inquiry into the deaths of three asylum seekers in Glasgow brings to an end a sorry tale of desperation.
Russian refugees Serguei, Tatiana and Stepan Serykh died when they fell from the 15th floor of one of the Red Road tower blocks in the Springburn area of north east Glasgow on 7 March 2010. (See article on this here)
What complicated the case was that their application to remain in the UK had been refused and they had been told they had to leave their flat, leading to fingers being pointed at agencies which might have been able to protect them.
The family had not, however, been issued with a removal order at the time of their deaths, and were reportedly also suffering from mental health issues.
We will never know whether these people were so desperate that they leaped to their deaths rather than be sent home, or whether there were other factors at play. It would be wrong to speculate either way.
Inevitably, not everyone who arrives in this country seeking asylum will be granted it. The homelessness charities, housing associations and council workers who support the families have a job on their hands to provide suitable accommodation, sometimes for months on end, for people who are in limbo.
Asylum seekers seem to represent the unseen side of housing-related support. The individuals are often traumatised, unable to speak English and not eligible for much state help. They might have complex needs, and cannot work, meaning charities have to pick up the slack.
There are organisations that do a lot to support asylum seekers and champion their rights. But people like the Serykh family show that there's still a huge amount of work to be done, and it's not something anyone can take lightly.
Introduction The National Statement of Expectations for Supported Housing (NSE) was finally published on 20 October 2020, five years after the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review suggested regulatory and oversight changes were needed, although in 2018 the government >>>
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