Sun 26 June 2022:
At least 107 asylum seekers who were living in government housing in the UK have passed away in the last five years, with the majority of those fatalities being reported since 2020, according to an investigation,
82 deaths have occurred after 2020 out of the 107 deaths reported between April 2016 and May 2022, indicating insufficient safeguards.
The Guardian report, which cited data from a joint investigation by the Observer and Liberty Investigates, stated that these asylum seekers died by suicide or was thought to have committed suicide despite being officially recognized by the Home Office as vulnerable and possibly in need of protection.
Of those, 17 people died by suicide or suspected suicide, according to an analysis of Home Office records released under information laws. Half of those who have died since the start of 2020 (41) were flagged as having a “safeguarding element” – a label officials assign to individuals recognised as having vulnerabilities or needs such as a health problem, reports the UK-based newspaper.
There were four deaths in 2019, rising to 36 in 2020, 40 last year and six so far this year, reveals data.
A steady increase in the number of deaths has raised questions about the efficiency of the Home Office, which is primarily responsible for protecting the asylum seekers recognised by the government.
One MP told The Guardian that their lives had been lost due to “cruelty and incompetence”. Another said the government had questions to answer.
Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, added: “These revelations demand an urgent, independent inspection of the accommodation, healthcare and safeguarding provided [for] asylum seekers.”
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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