The government has a stated policy of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for asylum-seekers, with policies and procedures designed to deter people from seeking asylum in the UK. This significant report addresses whether this action is legal.
On the back of the Windrush scandal but also with much wider implications, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has used its enforcement powers under section 31 of the Equality Act to look at how, and whether, the Home Office complied with its Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) obligations in developing, implementing and monitoring hostile environment policies.
“We assessed how and whether the Home Office complied with its duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) when developing, implementing and monitoring the hostile environment policies.
“We wanted to find out what the Home Office did to understand the impact that its policies and practices could, and did, have on Black members of the Windrush generation and their descendants. We wanted to know how the Home Office acted on equality information and more generally embedded the PSED in its culture and processes.
“We found that the Home Office did not comply with section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Public Sector Equality Duty).”
This report sets out their findings and recommendations for change.