Asylum seekers feel unsafe on remote UK island

Diego Garcia asylum seekers feel unsafe on remote British island territory

Feb 17, 2024 by BBC News - Asia

Key Facts

  • Image source, HANDOUT Image caption, An image previously sent to the BBC by a migrant shows the housing tents on the island of Diego Garcia A group of asylum seekers on an isolated British island territory have told UN investigators they feel unsafe and forgotten, as they reported sexual assaults and harassment of children, as well as self-harm and suicide attempts.
  • In its response to the UN report on the asylum seekers, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "BIOT is not a suitable location for migrants, which is why we have been working tirelessly to process the migrants' claims for protection and to find a suitable third country for those whose claims are upheld.
  • "It was clear from speaking to asylum seekers, both the general population and those who had made allegations, that they did not see anything to be gained by reporting, both in terms of justice and safety, including due to the fact that alleged perpetrators of sexual assault remain living in the camp alongside alleged victims," the report says.
  • In the UN report, the asylum seekers on the island, which is hundreds of miles away from any other population, describe being bitten by rats in a fenced-off camp and say that they are only permitted to leave it under security escort, even if they just want to walk to the beach.

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