WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
July 18 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Manston Centre’s conditions ‘unacceptable’: IMB

Manston Centre’s conditions ‘unacceptable’: IMB

The conditions at the Manston Centre for asylum seekers have been deemed ‘insanitary and unacceptable’ in a report by the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB), the watchdog that monitors the centre.

Manston, which is located on a former military base in a remote part of Kent, opened in February 2022 with the purpose of processing migrants who arrived in the UK on small boats. Although intended to be a short-term holding facility, there have been many cases of prolonged detention of individuals at the centre exceeding the 24-hour limit. A number of serious incidents have occurred at Manston, including the death of a man who contracted diphtheria  whilst at the facility.

According to the IMB report, detained individuals were accommodated in marquees described as ‘unsuitable’ and without proper sleeping facilities. Families are being forced to sleep on the floor as gym mats were removed by the Home Office as a fire hazard. Some people were reported as using flattened cardboard boxes to sleep on, whilst others only had a single blanket.

The report also highlighted that there were inadequate numbers of basic provisions such as wash kits and clean clothes which heightened the risk of cross-contamination and transmitting disease. The IMB observed a child whose clothes, which had been provided by the centre, continually fell down whilst he played as they were too big. Furthermore, the IMB raised the concern that the sharing of coats to leave the marquee may spread infections such as scabies.

In addition to the inhumane conditions at the centre, the IMB report also described a lack of information given to detained individuals in regard to the length of their stay and when they would be transferred.

Daniel Sohege, a specialist in international refugee law and migrants’ rights called for prosecution for ‘endangering life’ at Manston and asserted that the people there are ‘being treated worse than animals’.

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