Pregnant asylum seeker to seek legal damages for unnecessary suffering and humiliation inflicted by the Home Office
15 January 2022
A pregnant young asylum seeker and her husband, who have been living in a guest house for more than a year without any money, are considering legal action for damages for the suffering caused by Home Office delays.
The 26-year-old woman, known as Aminah and husband Faraj, had been living in a run-down guesthouse for 15 months without any money at all since November 2020 after fleeing Libya, while the Home Office decided their application for asylum. The couple are living in fear of their life.
Glasgow City Council Social Work department accommodated them from Nov 2020.
In September 2021, after repeated refusals to support them, the Home Office finally awarded Section 95 support, which consists of £8 each for each week they were in the guest house, and accommodation with £39 per week.
Bizarrely, the Home Office then told their lawyer that they would not receive this money until they were accommodated out of the guest house.
Despite repeated letters from their lawyer, Sarah Mckeeve of Katani and Co, and a pre action protocol letter, the Home Office ignored all appeals and proceeded not to issue payments or move the couple.
During this time, Aminah* became pregnant, and the couple were reduced to retrieving plastic bags of “food” – including crisps for breakfast - from a green crate dumped in the dining room of the guesthouse.
Positive Action in Housing then publicised their plight in the press and the Home Office agreed to move them two days later through its accommodation provider Mears group.
They were then moved to a flat yesterday without food or phone data. The Mears driver refused to give the couple the address of their accommodation until they arrived on the doorstep.
Aminah* says they gave her some money but it was one third less than what they should have received. They were owed £304 since September 2021 but were given only £200.
We complained to Migrant Help who told us that this was on the instruction of the Home Office.
We lodged a complaint with Migrant Help to say the couple were deeply impoverished and were still being shortchanged. Legal damages are also being sought from the Home Office for the suffering caused to the couple.
We will continue to highlight breaches of human rights against asylum seekers, because if we stay quiet, our silence condones the profiting from vulnerable peoples misery.
Meanwhile please support this JustGiving fundraiser if you can for Aminah’s baby girl who is due on Jan 31.