Manston Immigration centre: Urgent need to provide suitable accommodation

Reports of the humanitarian emergency unfolding at Manston immigration processing centre this week must lead urgently to swift action.


Severe overcrowding and unacceptable conditions, leading to outbreaks of disease and despair, are a direct result of Government inaction and are well within Ministers' gift to address. Not making appropriate housing provision or timely processing of claims is a serious failure to protect displaced families from harm and to uphold the Government’s responsibilities under the International Refugee Convention of 1951.

The Manston site was designed as a temporary processing centre and assurances were made previously that people would not be held at the site for longer than a maximum of 48 hour. It isn’t acceptable to house people in the Manston Immigration centre for longer, particularly not children and families.

The Government must act urgently to address the dangerous conditions and meet its international obligations to provide humane and compassionate assessment and support for asylum seekers and refugee families. It must address the slow processing of claims and ensure all refugee families and children can access education, GPs and other necessary support.

In light of the recent arson attack at Dover, and the increase in political violence, threats and extremism online, we urge all Ministers to recognise their leadership role, use measured and respectful language; and to stop dehumanising groups of people and children.

The National Education Union condemns the Government’s record on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

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