UK authorities deletes report exhibiting discriminatory coverage on residential barge for asylum seekers – JURIST


A UK authorities report released Wednesday detailing the discriminatory coverage used to determine which asylum seekers will be housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge was subsequently deleted from the federal government web site. Though the coverage discriminated in opposition to asylum seekers on the grounds of age and intercourse, the federal government acknowledged this discrimination was justified underneath provisions within the Equality Act 2010, which permits discrimination in sure conditions.

Bibby Stockholm, a residential barge in Portland, is used to accommodate a most of 500 asylum seekers whereas they undergo the formal asylum-seeking course of within the UK, a coverage that has obtained criticism from human rights teams. A now-deleted report, “Portland Port: equality influence evaluation,” assessed the coverage used to determine who will be accommodated on the barge and the way they’re accommodated, in step with the federal government’s obligations underneath the Equality Act. This act states that public authorities will need to have due regard to “Eradicate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and some other conduct prohibited by the 2010 Act.”

The report analysed its method to every protected attribute underneath the Equality Act: age, intercourse, sexual orientation, incapacity, faith or perception, marriage and civil partnership, being pregnant and maternity, race and gender reassignment. The 2 traits discovered to be approached in a discriminatory method had been age and intercourse.

Relating to age, the barge solely accommodates single grownup males between the ages of 18 and 65. Whereas that is direct age discrimination because it treats these underneath 18 and over 65 much less favourably due to a protected attribute (age), this may be justified underneath Part 13(2) of the Equality Act if there’s a proportionate technique of reaching a respectable goal. This implies the discriminatory impact of the coverage have to be balanced in opposition to the goal the federal government is making an attempt to attain. The report claimed their discriminatory method was subsequently justified as “There’s a higher must accommodate male asylum seekers within the 18-65 age vary, subsequently we’re reaching a transparent and legit goal.” Additional, the report acknowledged that the coverage “ensur[ed] we meet our authorized obligations to accommodate asylum seekers who would in any other case be destitute and to allow the transfer away from accommodating people in inns, which is dear and unsustainable.”

Following this, relating to intercourse, the barge solely accommodates males, that means girls are immediately discriminated in opposition to. The federal government justified this discrimination underneath Schedule 23(3) of the Equality Act, which permits intercourse discrimination in relation to communal lodging. Communal lodging is outlined as “residential lodging which incorporates dormitories or different shared sleeping lodging which for causes of privateness must be used solely by individuals of the identical intercourse.” Because the Bibby Stockholm barge falls underneath this definition, the federal government argued that their discriminatory coverage was justified underneath these provisions. The report ensured that “feminine asylum seekers with the identical want for lodging and help shall be supplied with equal help at an alternate preliminary asylum lodging or lodge.

The report concluded that the federal government was sufficiently complying with its obligations underneath the Equality Act. These assessments shall be repeated quarterly until there’s a want to take action sooner.

Earlier this month, an asylum-seeker on board the Bibby Stockholm died. In response, a number of human rights organizations expressed their outrage over using the barge for asylum seekers.

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