Following the weekend's fatal stabbing and racial attack on Kurdish asylum seekers in Glasgow and Hull, Margaret Lally, Refugee Council Deputy Chief Executive said: - Refugee Council
August 6, 2001

Following the weekend’s fatal stabbing and racial attack on Kurdish asylum seekers in Glasgow and Hull, Margaret Lally, Refugee Council Deputy Chief Executive said:

Refugee Council release

“Concerns have already been expressed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). They felt the ‘ill-informed, adverse media coverage’ of asylum seekers has contributed to a rise in racial tension. In their report on policing issues around asylum based on the experiences of Kent police, ACPO stated that racist expressions towards asylum seekers ‘appear to have become common currency and acceptable in a way which would never be tolerated towards any other minority.’

“Dispersal will not work if asylum seekers are placed in areas where basic needs cannot be met. Vouchers need to be scrapped as soon as possible as they expose and target one of society’s most vulnerable groups to increased hostility. In addition, politicians both nationally and on a local level, urgently need to start dispelling many of the myths around asylum seekers. Respondents in a recent MORI poll thought that asylum seekers get 113 a week instead of 36.54 a week in vouchers with no change back. Politicians also need to explain the kinds of situations refugees are fleeing. This would go a long way towards helping people understand the real facts about asylum and what it means to come to the UK in search of sanctuary.”

ENDS

Read an on-line discussion on BBC News, with Margaret Lally answering questions on the Government’s dispersal policy.