Rape survivors arriving in UK on small boats overlooked by authorities – report | Migration


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Rape victims who arrive in the UK on small boats across the Channel are overlooked by authorities while others are poorly treated for life-changing injuries, a damning report has revealed.

Inspectors found that suicidal women who had been repeatedly raped by smugglers were not adequately supported after arriving on British soil.

A girl who suffered fuel burns on the boat as she crossed the English Channel was neglected for two days, leaving her with scars for life, it was found.

The revelations emerged in reports from prison inspectors and independent observers who examined the conditions of detention of migrants detained on the Kent coast.

They said the conditions in which the new arrivals are being held continue to be “very bad” despite previous assurances from the Interior Ministry that it would make significant improvements.

Inspectors said they found no evidence of specialized support for vulnerable detainees.

“A woman was detained for almost a day after revealing that she had been repeatedly raped by a smuggler five days before leaving France.

“She has been described as suicidal and ‘inconsolable’. Upon her release, she was housed in unsuitable initial accommodation containing both male and female asylum seekers, ”the report said.

Another woman revealed she was raped twice on her trip to the UK, but her condition was not followed up. Another woman was detained overnight before revealing that she had been “sold” to a man as a servant and was then detained for an additional 20 hours, according to the report.

Charlie Taylor, HM’s chief prison inspector, said the Home Office had not done enough to improve facilities since the last inspection in September 2020 found the facilities to be poorly equipped.

“It is not known why there were such delays following the assurances given to us by the Ministry of the Interior after our last inspection. The leaders told us of difficulties in coordinating the various partners whose cooperation was required, but that was not a sufficient explanation, ”he said.

The Dover Independent Oversight Board (IMB), which oversees Kent Channel detention centers, said it was “extremely concerned” at the persistence – and worsening – of conditions in Dover, saying they should be highlighted urgently.

He revealed that the migrants were facing increasingly cold conditions. Children, including toddlers and infants, were held at Tug Haven, the initial point of entry, overnight.

The new arrivals, some of whom had been sprayed with burning fuel on the boats, bore signs of serious injuries, the report said.

“A 16-year-old girl who had fuel burns on her legs and who had been in Tug Haven for two days wearing wet clothes did not have her injuries detected until she was admitted to the unit. Kent’s admission.

“At that point, the seam of her clothes had become encrusted with the burns and a doctor reported that the girl was likely to be marked for life,” the report said.

Dame Anne Owers, National President of IMBs, said urgent action was needed. “IMBs continued to raise very serious concerns about the conditions and treatment of cross-Channel detainees, both upon their initial arrival and during the subsequent journey through the detention system, culminating in the events described in these reports. “

On Tuesday, the Home Office confirmed that part of the Department of Defense (MoD) site in Manston, Kent, will be used as a newcomer processing site by January 2022.

The secure site will be able to detain people “for a maximum of five days while their security checks and initial asylum processing are carried out”.

The announcement was not well received by Constituency MP Sir Roger Gale, who told the House of Commons that the site was “inappropriate”.

Asking an urgent question, the MP for North Thanet said “there is no indication as to how the site will accommodate these human beings, be secured or what facilities will be made available, other than statutory.” [rules] on site medical services ”.

“I will be grateful to the Minister for now asking the team to do what I have already asked: put this unacceptable and unworkable proposal on hold and properly, thoroughly and quickly examine viable alternatives. What if, in doing so, he leads the consultations that should have taken place weeks ago? he said.

Home Secretary Tom Pursglove told Gale: ‘This consultation is ongoing, including with local authorities, including with the NHS, and of course, including with him as a constituency MP and with the police. “

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “Last month’s tragedy is a devastating reminder of the dangers of crossing the Channel and that is why we are overhauling our broken asylum system to protect lives and ensure that smugglers cannot profit from this crime.

“We take the well-being of those in our care very seriously and since these inspections we have continued to improve the facilities and open new secure facilities. “

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