• ‘I am like a prisoner again’ – Glasgow’s destitute Eritreans

    Some nights Ariam gets lucky. A friend lets him sleep on a couch or curled up in the corner of a bedroom floor.

    But most evenings he just walks. With a bag slung over his slight, mid-30s frame, the Eritrean traverses Glasgow’s crepuscular streets, shoulders pulled tight against the elements.

    Ariam, not his real name, walks because he has no place to go.

    “I do not sleep on the street. It is too cold. I just walk around all night,” he says when we meet in a Glasgow cafe. It is around midday and Ariam looks tired. Stubble cloaks his thin face. He speaks clear English in a low monotone, as if his batteries are drained.

    “I’ve stayed in every part of Glasgow. Here, there, everywhere. That’s the way I live,” he tells me.

    The Ferret met the Eritrean refugees in this report in Glasgow in 2016. Two years on, most are still living the same precarious existence today, outside the immigration system with no access to work or housing, and with no prospect of returning to a homeland where they would face prison – or worse – for desertion.

    Ariam did not always live like this. Like so many Eritreans he spent years in compulsory military service with no prospect of an end. Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki’s one-party state is one of the world’s most oppressive regimes, according to Human Rights Watch.

    I’ve stayed in every part of Glasgow. Here, there, everywhere. That’s the way I live.
    Ariam

    One day, while guarding Eritrea’s western border, Ariam managed to escape into Sudan. From there, often on foot, he reached Libya. A precarious £1,000 ride on an inflatable dingy with 27 others took him across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

    Eventually he arrived in Dover. That was 2006.

    Once in the UK, Ariam was granted discretionary leave to remain, on humanitarian grounds. He moved to Glasgow shortly afterwards, and got a job at a warehouse and a flat in the East End.

    Life thousands of miles away from home was not easy but it was better than living in constant fear in Eritrea.

    In October 2015, Ariam reapplied to the Home Office for leave to remain. He had no reason to be worried. The system was cumbersome but he had been through it numerous times. However, this time his application was turned down. He was not entitled to work – or to draw any benefits.

    “I paid my taxes. Now they were telling me I couldn’t work, and they wouldn’t support me,” he says. “I risked my life to come to this country and now they abandoned me.”

    As he talks he takes a clear plastic envelope from his jacket pocket. Methodically he thumbs through the sheaf of documents inside; there are neatly ordered tax returns, Barclays bank statements, pages headed with the Home Office’s fussy shield of the Royal Arms crest. Among the paraphernalia of governance is a photocopied pamphlet: ‘Food Clothing Shelter Information Advice for Destitute Asylum Seekers’.

    After we have finished our coffees, Ariam and another Eritrean, Mike, take me to the East End, where they often sleep on the floor of an apartment complex that they lived in before their access to benefits was cut. The Barras slips past our taxi window. Then Celtic Park. “Paradise” declares a huge banner wrapped around the stadium. We keep driving. Five minutes later we arrive at a utilitarian block of flats clad in pebbledash. The building is perhaps only fifteen years old but already showing signs of age.

    “Here we are,” Ariam smiles. We are standing outside a janitor’s cupboard on the ground floor of the flats. Mike unfurls a mattress clandestinely stored inside. When the superintendent is away they sometimes sleep on the stairwell floor, in front of a plate glass window looking out onto a biscuit factory.

    Eritreans were the leading recipients of destitution grants from Scottish charity Refugee Survival Trust in 2015 and 2016. Destitute Eritreans in Scotland have received almost 300 survival grants over since 2014. Many of these were in and around Glasgow.

    Those The Ferret spoke to told a similar story. Having survived one of the most brutal regimes on the planet, many are barred from employment or benefits and forced to sleep in night shelters, on floors, or even in parks.

    “We are trapped here,” Ariam says as we walk back towards the city. “It is like we are prisoners of war here.”
    https://z4a4p3v5.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1S2C5880.jpg

    People have been fleeing Eritrea for Britain since the 1980s. For decades, the vast majority were granted asylum. But that changed in 2015 when the Home Office – then headed by Theresa May, who had pledged to radically reduce immigration – decided that Eritrea was no longer unsafe for refugees to return to.

    That year, Eritreans accounted for the largest group applying for asylum in the UK, with more than 3,700 applicants. But almost overnight the number of successful applications plummeted.

    In the first quarter of 2015 just under three-quarters of Eritrean applicants were approved. That figure fell to 34 per cent in the following three months.

    The Home Office was eventually forced to change its policy, and in 2016 – the last full year on record – the number of successful Eritrean asylum claims rose significantly.

    But there are still Eritreans in the UK who have found themselves living outside the system, with no formal status or right to accommodation or employment, trapped in what the British Government has called “a hostile environment” for immigrants.

    There is no evidence that Eritreans avoiding military service in Eritrea are thinking ‘I won’t go to the UK to avoid sleeping rough on the streets of Glasgow’.
    Simon Cox, immigration lawyer

    “The logic of the hostile environment policy is we hold these people hostage to deter others from coming. There is no evidence that this works,” says Simon Cox, a migration lawyer for the Open Society Justice Initiative.

    “There is no evidence that Eritreans avoiding military service in Eritrea are thinking ‘I won’t go to the UK to avoid sleeping rough on the streets of Glasgow’.”

    SNP MP Stuart McDonald says the Home Office has used a policy of “enforced destitution in order to try and make someone leave the UK” that is “barbaric and utterly inappropriate”.

    “It is a scandal these people are being forced to sleep in parks and bus shelters,” McDonald told the Ferret.

    The Home Office does not deport people back to Eritrea, such is the brutality of Isaias Afwerki’s one-party state.

    Afwerki led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in a 30-year-long secessionist war with Ethiopia that culminated in independence, in 1993. Since then the president has overseen an increasingly brutal surveillance state.

    Eritreans as young as 13 or 14 are forced into sawa – indefinite national service – from which many never leave.

    Extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and forced labour take place “on a scope and scale seldom witnessed elsewhere”, according to a damning 2015 United Nations report. Afwerki oversees “ruthless repression” and “pervasive state control”.

    No one knows for sure how many people live in Eritrea. Some put the population at three million. Others six. This disparity attests to the scale of migration in recent decades.

    A 2015 UN report found that Eritreans who fled the country illegally are regarded as “traitors” and frequently imprisoned if they return. “[They] are systematically ill-treated to the point of torture,” the UN said.

    The Home Office used to recognise the barbarity of the Eritrean regime. In 2008, six Eritreans athletes at the World Cross Country Championship in Edinburgh lodged claims for political asylum. All were granted. One of the runners, Tsegai Tewelde, went on to compete for Britain in the 2016 Olympics.

    But the British Government’s position on Eritrea abruptly changed not long after a high level diplomatic meeting in the Eritrean capital, Asmara. In December 2014, senior Eritrean government officials received a UK delegation led by James Sharp, the Foreign Office’s director of migration, and Rob Jones, the Home Office’s head of asylum and family policy.

    Soon afterwards, Theresa May’s Home Office radically changed its guidance on Eritrea. The scale of human rights abuse in Eritrea was less severe than previously thought, Home Office officials said. Forced military service was no longer indefinite; those who left the country illegally faced no consequences as long as they signed a ‘letter of apology’ and paid a ‘diaspora tax’ on money earned abroad. This controversial new assessment was based on a ‘flawed’ Danish report.

    Britain’s official guidance on Eritean was only junked when judges ruled that returning Eritreans faced serious harm. Subsequent internal documents revealed that the UK government downplayed the risk of human rights abuses in Eritrea to reduce asylum seeker numbers – despite doubts from its own experts.

    McDonald said that the Home Office’s “treatment of Eritrean asylum seekers has been disgraceful – clinging on to clearly unreliable country evidence that returns to Eritrea could be made safely, even when the international consensus and overwhelming evidence was to the opposite effect.

    “There can be little doubt that a good number among the 300 Eritreans forced to rely on survival grants were refused while the old guidance was in place and the Home Office should be looking again at their cases.”

    Even though the Home Office’s country guidance has been amended , the bureaucratic hurdles can prove insurmountable for Eritreans on the streets. There are so many meetings to attend, forms to fill in correctly, documents to present.

    “Once you become homeless it becomes almost impossible. You can’t keep your paper. The idea of keeping an appointment goes out the window,” says Simon Cox.

    This labyrinthine process has been cited as one reason for the unprecedented increase in homeless refugees in Scotland in recent years. In 2014-15, the Refugee Survival Trust gave out 336 grants. Last year it was more than 1,000 for the first time.

    “The amount that we spend on grants has increased by 586 per cent in just three years and we are concerned about how long we will be able to meet this soaring demand to meet the most basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our society,” says Zoë Holliday, a co-ordinator with the Refugee Survival Trust.

    More than half of those receiving grants were either submitting a fresh asylum claim or further submissions to support an existing claim. At this stage of the asylum process most refugees have no access to government support.

    “There is a huge need for reform of the asylum system so that fewer individuals and families fall through the many gaps in the system and find themselves destitute. There is also a need for more support to be available for those who do find themselves in this situation, because it is simply unacceptable that so many people find themselves reliant on small emergency grants from a small charity like ours, which is in turn reliant on small donations from individuals and foundations,” says Holliday.

    Owen Fenn, manager of Govan Community Project, a community-based organisation that works with migrants in Glasgow, says the Home Office’s “agenda continues to punish the most vulnerable in our society”.

    “People then either have to sign up to return to a country where they will probably be killed, sleep on the streets and survive on foodbanks, or start working in a black economy where they are at risk of abuse and, if caught, criminalisation,” Fenn added.

    A Home Office spokesperson said: “Failed asylum seekers or those who have departed from the asylum process who can return to their country of origin should do so.

    “The Home Office has no obligation and does not provide support for failed asylum seekers, unless there is a genuine obstacle to their departure.”

    David has never seen his only son, Esrom. The child, who will be twelve at his next birthday, lives with David’s wife in the Eritrean capital Asmara. It is a city David, not his real name fears he will never see again.

    When Esrom was born, David was living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He had deserted his post as an Eritrean border guard. “I left with two friends,” David recalls. “We knew the place, where the minefields were.” The three men snuck away quietly, avoiding the snipers that guard the border, before crossing at a river.

    On the other side of the border the men were picked by a rebel group fighting the Ethiopian government. One of his companions was the son of a former government minister who was arrested in a vicious 2001 crackdown and never seen again.

    After four days, the deserters were handed over to Ethiopian authorities who placed them in a refugee camp. From there David joined the familiar route for Eritrean exiles; through Sudan, on to Libya and then across the Mediterranean.

    “I was not mentally fit to join the army,” David says. It’s a surprising thing to hear; he is tall, and well-built and speaks with a quiet confidence. But after 15 years in National Service, earning as little as £2 a month, he had to escape.

    Most of those who escape Eritrea are deserters. Many are not as lucky as David.

    Then they were caught and brought back. The whole night they were beaten. All you could hear was their screams.
    David

    In 2016, a convoy of military trucks travelled through the capital, Asmara. A busload of National Service conscripts made a run for it. They were shot down in cold blood. Twenty-nine were killed or injured.

    David knows first hand the brutality of life in Eritrea. Scars line his face. “They beat me with sticks,” he tells me.

    Torture was frequent in the jail he was held in after an earlier, unsuccessful, escape attempt. “One night four people managed to run from the prison. They escaped for two weeks. Then they were caught and brought back. The whole night they were beaten. All you could hear was their screams.”

    Now in his 40s, David has lived in Glasgow for almost a decade. We meet across the street from the African Caribbean Centre on Osborne Street. The community venue closed in 2016 with unpaid debts totalling over £60,000.

    David and his Eritrean friends look wistfully across at the padlocked doors, chewing tobacco and sharing cigarettes. “We went there every day. Now we have nowhere to go,” he says.

    The rest of the group nod. “We used to spend all day there,” says another. Often they would meet other Africans in the centre who would give them a roof for the night. Now many spend their days in public libraries, seeking solace from the cold before the long night arrives and the night shelters open.

    David sleeps on a friend’s floor some nights; others he spends in a homeless shelter in Glasgow that he has to leave by 8am. His clothes are washed by an Eritrean friend whose asylum application is being processed.

    “We get nothing from the government. We live on the charity organisations for our daily meal,” he says.

    “You don’t say “next week I will do this”, you just live day-to-day. You are always depending on someone else.”

    David came to the UK because he had family here. “I thought it would be better.” Has it been, I ask? He shakes his head. “No.”

    The Eritrean diaspora is now spread right across the world. Glasgow has one of the largest communities in the UK, with an estimated 500 Eritreans dispersed across the city.

    “Eritreans keep a low profile in case the Eritrean government comes after them,” says Teklom Gebreindrias, a graduate of Glasgow Caledonian University who was granted asylum in the UK after escaping Eritrea in 2007.

    The Home Office has said that many Eritrean asylum applicants are bogus, made by other African nationals posing as Eritrean. But in a response to a Freedom of Information submitted by The Ferret, the Home Office said that data on so-called ‘nationality disputes’ is not collated and cannot be accessed without a manual investigation of all asylum cases.

    Another Eritrean, who we will call Moses, has given up appealing. He shows me an ID card. It looks very official, with the Westminster portcullis embossed beside his grainy photograph. Typed on the back in bold font is “FORBIDDEN FROM TAKING EMPLOYMENT”.

    Moses is thirty, tall and thin with piercing eyes. He absconded from the Eritrean army and arrived in the UK almost a decade ago. “I came here as a young man, now look at me.” His foot taps an impatient beat on the floor. He juggles a baseball cap between his broad hands. He grew up dreaming of becoming a mechanic. Now he spends his days killing time.

    “We are in a productive age but because we cannot work we are idle in this country. It affects your mental wellbeing.” His voice is rasping, and angry. “I used to be a normal person, but now I have depression. It is not easy to live for ten years without any support.”

    Moses has slept rough in Queen’s Park on Glasgow’s Southside. “People just stare at you but they do nothing.”

    For Moses the dream of a new life in the UK – a dream he risked sniper fire for, almost drowned in the Mediterranean Sea for, spent countless nights locked up in Home Office detention centres for – is dead.

    “I don’t want to stay in this country. It has ruined my life. There is nothing worse. We were living a miserable life in Eritrea. Now we are living a miserable life here.”

    https://theferret.scot/glasgows-destitute-eritreans

    #réfugiés #réfugiés_érythréens #Erythrée #Ecosse #UK #asile #migrations #déboutés

  • Ruling allowing Serco to evict asylum seekers sets ‘dangerous precedent’

    Campaigners are warning that a “dangerous precedent” has been set by a “brutal” ruling from Scotland’s highest court that evicting asylum seekers by changing their locks is lawful.

    The judgement means an estimated 150 people in Glasgow can now be evicted. The Inner House of the Court of Session rejected an appeal by Govan Law Centre and upheld an earlier court verdict in favour of the multinational housing provider, Serco.

    Most of those affected have had their pleas for asylum refused and have no right to public funds. They now face street homelessness even though they may working on appeals to Home Office decisions to deport them. Serco claimed it could now evict up to 20 people per week.

    Lawyers, including those from the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said they had “serious” concerns that the judgement meant the rights of vulnerable people living in Scotland would be breached.

    The court found that because Serco is a private organisation, it does not have to meet human rights obligations. The company lost its Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in Glasgow to the Mears Group in September.

    If the court had found in Govan Law Centre’s favour, Serco would have been forced to get a court order before making each eviction, giving asylum seekers greater protection. The company has previously sought court orders in some cases.

    At a press conference held by Govan Law Centre, which was representing clients in the case, those living in Serco accommodation and facing eviction spoke about their fears of ending up on the streets in the depths of winter.

    Campaigners said they had deep concerns for clients and were frustrated that many of those facing eviction are still fighting appeals. People can spend years in the asylum system, falling in and out of destitution and their right to accommodation, before their right to protection is recognised.

    Lorna Walker, instructing solicitor for Govan Law Centre, said: “To lose your home and become street homeless, especially when you have no right to public funds, is one of the worst things that could happen to a human being.

    “It is our position that without a court of law the outcome can be catastrophic. We are deeply concerned that it is held that the human rights act does not extend far enough to protect this most vulnerable group of people from being evicted.”

    Khadija Anwar, from Kenya, spoke of her shock and confusion following the decision. She and her husband, Muhammad, from Pakistan, are facing eviction from their Serco flat after having their case refused. Now in their seventies, they have been destitute for five months, relying on support from Positive Action in Housing, food banks and other charities.

    “Both of us are very tired,” she said. “I am struggling with arthritis and vertigo and my husband has heart problems, dementia problems. It’s very difficult.”

    She added: “Already I can’t bear this cold, even inside the house. How can they do this? Do they think we can stay out on the street in this cold? I’m so worried about my husband, my loving husband. This is not the stage where we can leave [the UK] without each other.”

    Robina Qureshi, chief executive of Positive Action on Housing, said: “What the court has done is legally institute a form of housing apartheid in Glasgow where one section of our community have their housing and human rights upheld, yet another can be dragged from their homes and on to the streets without recourse to public funds, to work or any form of support.

    “What does an eviction without due process look like? Where are the police, where are the sheriffs officers? Serco and other private housing companies now have carte blanche. They have the freedom to do this. What we have seen that people are enduring destitution for years and finally getting leave to remain.

    “But the fight does not stop here. And we are ready for it.”

    Positive Action on Housing is hoping to find additional capacity in its rooms for refugees programme, where volunteer hosts offer someone a bed. But Qureshi acknowledged it was not a perfect set-up, claiming people should be able to build their lives without the support of charity.

    Currently the only other option is the Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers, which has space for about 20 men but is often full. The Glasgow Winter Shelter will not open until December.

    Govan Law Centre is currently consulting with clients. But it may appeal to the UK Supreme Court, while the Scottish Human Rights Commission, which intervened in the case, confirmed it is also considering further legal action.

    Judith Robertson, chair of the commission, said: “We have serious concerns about the implications of this ruling, both for the people directly affected and for the protection of human rights more broadly.

    “The court’s finding that Serco is not acting as a public authority in this context, and therefore is not bound by human rights legal obligations, has profound consequences for how people’s rights are protected when public services are delivered by private providers.

    “Governments should not be able to divest themselves of their human rights obligations by outsourcing the provision of public services.”

    Fiona McPhail, Shelter Scotland’s principle solicitor, agreed the decision was “deeply concerning”. She added: “It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers. If by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights law, this sets a dangerous precedent.”

    Glasgow City Council has recently made cuts of over £3m to existing homeless services. Shelter Scotland is taking the council to court for failing to meet its duty to accommodate homeless people.

    https://theferret.scot/serco-judgement-evictions-glasgow-lock-change
    #SDF #sans-abrisme #sans-abri #Ecosse #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UK #privatisation #serco #hébergement #logement

    • Lock change evictions ruled lawful

      Refugee Survival Trust fears a humanitarian crisis on Glasgow’s streets, as lock change evictions of asylum seekers approved by Court of Session.

      A humanitarian catastrophe created by the UK Home Office and Serco, its former housing contractor, will force hundreds of vulnerable asylum seekers onto the streets of #Glasgow, warns the Refugee Survival Trust.

      This follows a ruling by the Court of Session, which found Serco’s controversial ‘lock change’ eviction policy to be lawful. This ruling will see people who are fleeing war and persecution evicted from their homes and forced onto the city’s streets into destitution.

      Cath McGee, Destitute Asylum Seeker Service Manager at the Refugee Survival Trust said, “We’ve been hearing from asylum seekers living under enormous stress who have told us that they are terrified of losing the roof over their head in the harsh winter months. We now fear a humanitarian crisis on Glasgow’s streets involving hundreds of already vulnerable people who have no other means to support themselves as they cannot work or claim benefits.”

      “These people have nowhere else to go. They are not permitted to access homeless services so throwing them out of their homes onto the streets will place them at enormous risk. They have fled war and persecution and are seeking asylum in Scotland. Now they will be forced to fight for their daily survival.”

      “With their basic right to shelter taken from them they won’t have a postal address to collect important letters related to their asylum case. Nor will they be in a position to seek legal advice or gather new evidence to support a fresh asylum claim to help them stay in the UK.”

      Scots housing law prevents Scottish families from being evicted without a court order. The Refugee Survival Trust, a charity that leads the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service in Glasgow and provides practical support including small emergency cash grants to asylum seekers facing destitution, says this should apply to everyone in Scotland, regardless of their immigration status.
      “Vulnerable people seeking asylum should be afforded the same housing rights as Scottish families. We should not tolerate a system that treats people seeking international protection in this brutal way,” said Ms McGee.

      In September 2019, the #Mears_Group took over the contract to provide housing to asylum seekers in Glasgow. The Group is yet to give a formal undertaking that it won’t force asylum seekers into homelessness and destitution.

      “We’re calling on the Mears Group to make a public commitment that they won’t pursue lock change evictions to forcibly remove vulnerable people seeking asylum here in Scotland from their homes,” added Ms McGee.

      https://www.rst.org.uk/archives/3232

    • Disappointing decision on Serco lock changes

      Today the Court of Session found in favour of Serco in a test case for asylum seeker lock changes.

      Our Principal Solicitor Fiona McPhail commented:

      “This decision is deeply disappointing news for all those directly affected.

      “We now face a situation where around 300 people will be at risk of summary eviction, with no right to homeless assistance or no right to work to earn their own income to cover rent, meaning there is a high risk they will end up on the streets of Glasgow.

      “Our clients are continuing to progress their asylum claims and cannot return to their country of origin.

      “The finding that Serco is not a public authority and therefore does not need to comply with the Human Rights Act or the Equality Act is deeply concerning. It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers - if by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights and equalities law, this sets a dangerous precedent.

      Gordon MacRae, Assistant Director for Communications and Policy, Shelter Scotland said:

      “At Shelter Scotland we think there are both moral and legal cases to be heard. It is morally repugnant to force anyone out of their home with nowhere for them to go. Public bodies must not stand by while people face winter on the streets.

      “Shelter Scotland exist to protect everyone’s housing rights no matter their circumstances. We will continue to do what we can protect those whose rights are denied. “

      Fiona McPhail added:

      “The Court appears to have placed some emphasis on the type of case it was- and the fact that it was not a judicial review. Hopefully the solicitors in this case will reflect on these observations, as judicial review proceedings were raised by another party and have been put on hold whilst this case has been taken as the lead case.”

      https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/news/november_2019/disappointing_decision_on_serco_lock_changes

    • #Glasgow faces homeless crisis with asylum seeker evictions

      With temperatures plunging, night shelters scramble to deal with fallout after court ruled to allow ‘lock-change evictions’.

      Asylum seekers in Glasgow are facing the prospect of sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions when the wave of “lock-change evictions” – held off for nearly 18 months by public protests and legal challenges – finally begins in earnest over the next fortnight, with the only available night shelter already full to capacity and frontline workers desperately scrambling to secure more emergency accommodation.

      Earlier this month, Scotland’s highest court upheld a ruling that Serco, which claims it has been “demonised” over its controversial policy of changing the locks on the homes of refused asylum seekers, did not contravene Scottish housing law or human rights legislation. The private housing provider now plans to evict 20 people a week.
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      Annika Joy, who manages the Glasgow night shelter for destitute asylum seekers, is blunt about the prospects of avoiding a homelessness crisis across the city, where temperatures plummeted to below zero last week. “We don’t have any slack,” she says. “We have 24 beds here, booked to capacity every night. We believe there are already 150 asylum seekers at any time who are making survival decisions, perhaps being forced to sell sex or labour for accommodation, or sofa surfing. Now we estimate that another 150 people will be evicted by Serco over the winter.”

      Joy is painfully aware of how basic the shelter’s provisions are. There are no showers in the building, nor sufficient secure space where guests can store possessions. Without enough power for a catering cooker, the hot breakfasts and dinners provided with donated food are made on a minimal four-ring hob. In the bunk room itself, colourful blankets and sheets are draped around beds. It looks like a children’s sleepover party, but these are adult males desperately trying to create privacy among strangers, many of whom suffer from insomnia or night terrors.

      Refused asylum seekers in the UK find themselves in an almost uniquely unsupported position, with no right to homeless assistance or to work to provide for themselves.

      Graham O’Neill of the Scottish Refugee Council says many of those initially refused have their claims accepted on appeal – 55% according to most recent figures. A quarter of those Serco planned to evict when it first announced its lock-change policy in July 2018 have since returned to Section Four homelessness support.

      For O’Neill, there is a deep frustration that many of those still facing eviction are waiting weeks for decisions that should be made within days, or have fresh asylum claims ready but aren’t allowed to lodge them because of Home Office bureaucracy. “They are facing street homelessness, when actually in law they have an entitlement to support.”

      Joy says that a longer-term solution is needed across the city: “These are not people who will need a bed for a few nights until they have their lives sorted out, and we won’t end homelessness in Glasgow without a proper plan for asylum seekers.”

      The city is already facing a winter crisis, with demands for the council night shelter to open early because of freezing temperatures, while last month Shelter Scotland launched a judicial review that claims Glasgow city council has illegally denied temporary accommodation to homeless applicants.

      With this in mind, campaigners are working together with local housing associations and charities who have spare rooms, and in discussion with Glasgow’s city council and the Scottish government – who are limited because they are not legally allowed to directly fund accommodation for over-stayers - to put together a critical mass of long-term accommodation.

      The plan is to offer accommodation along with wraparound legal and health support, which can also serve the women who make up one in five of those facing eviction and who currently have nowhere to go.

      Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, which has been supporting a number of those anticipating eviction, emphasises the long-term psychological toll of the lock-change policy, saying: “People are very frightened about the prospect of being turfed onto the street at any time.”

      Joy emphasises how much living circumstances impact on people’s capacity to access support. “It’s striking how many rights our guests who have been refused by the Home Office have. When people are less anxious about where they are going to spend the night, when they have the encouragement to open up about their experiences, we often discover new information that can help their claims.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/27/glasgow-faces-homeless-crisis-with-asylum-seeker-evictions-set-to-begin

  • Map of Scots women accused of witchcraft published for first time - The Scotsman

    https://www.scotsman.com/heritage/map-of-scots-women-accused-of-witchcraft-published-for-first-time-1-500981

    A map that tracks more than 3,000 Scots women who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century has been published for the first time.

    The interactive document has been created by data experts at the University of Edinburgh.

    It builds on the university’s breakthrough work on the Scottish Witchcraft Survey which brought to life the persecution of women during the period, with many burned at the stake or drowned.

    #cartographie #écosse #sorcières cc @mona

  • En Ecosse, la perspective du Brexit renforce les indépendantistes
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/030819/en-ecosse-la-perspective-du-brexit-renforce-les-independantistes

    Le nouveau premier ministre britannique Boris Johnson fait craindre le pire aux Écossais, majoritairement hostiles au Brexit. De quoi renforcer encore l’hégémonie du Parti national écossais, le SNP, social-démocrate, pro-européen et indépendantiste, dont le succès s’est fait aux dépens des travaillistes.

    #EUROPE #Ecosse,_Brexit,_boris_johnson,_SNP,_Nicola_Sturgeon

  • La lande d’Écosse, un décor romantique, mais 100 % artificiel | National Geographic
    https://www.nationalgeographic.fr/voyage/la-lande-decosse-un-decor-romantique-mais-100-artificiel


    un extrait d’article de 2017

    Un décor naturel, vraiment ? Ce paysage, recouvrant aujourd’hui 40 % du territoire britannique, est pourtant 100 % artificiel. Il y a 10 000 ans, avant que l’homme ne s’installe en Écosse, la zone était composée majoritairement de #forêts. À l’instar des oliveraies de Toscane, la lande est le fruit d’un long travail de plantations et d’aménagements mené par l’homme. Pour qu’elle se tapisse ainsi de callunes - la bruyère ordinaire -, il faut pratiquer régulièrement des brûlis sélectifs. Ainsi, les arbres ne se développent pas en trop grand nombre.

    Aujourd’hui les enjeux écologiques et économiques poussent à replanter des arbres sur la lande. Le but ? Développer l’industrie du bois tout en augmentant la capacité d’absorption des gaz à effet de serre du territoire. Pour atteindre ces objectifs, un plan de reboisement d’un cinquième de l’#Écosse est prévu. Problème : il menace les nombreuses espèces d’oiseaux qui vivent dans la lande. Le retour à la végétation d’origine n’est pas le seul sujet de controverse. Ces terres appartiennent, en majorité, à de riches propriétaires qui les transforment en domaine de chasse ou en terrain de golf. Dans ce contexte, comment les protéger ? Nous vous proposons de découvrir l’envers du décor, mais, surtout, les querelles entre chasseurs et militants écologistes qui n’en finissent pas de s’écharper sur la question.

    #transformations_anthropogéniques #paysage #déforestation #brûlis

  • Le #Brexit et la frontière irlandaise — Géoconfluences
    http://geoconfluences.ens-lyon.fr/actualites/eclairage/brexit-frontiere-irlandaise

    Par Fabien Jeannier. Les Irlandais du Nord, à une plus courte majorité que leurs voisins Écossais, ont voté contre le Brexit, qui doit pourtant advenir. Alors que l’intégration européenne avait joué un rôle important pour atténuer les effets de frontière avec la République d’#Irlande, dans le contexte d’une réconciliation symbolique après un conflit armé, les négociations du Brexit posent une question insoluble : une frontière peut-elle être à la fois ouverte et fermée ?

    #irland_du_nord #écosse #frontières #conflit_frontalier

  • #Maggie_Mellon : Le gouvernement écossais favorise des politiques qui vont faire du mal aux enfants ; avec d’autres féministes, j’ai bien l’intention de les contrer.
    https://tradfem.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/maggie-mellon-le-gouvernement-ecossais-favorise-des-politiques-qu

    Un article au sujet de cinq jeunes transgenre nous a permis de mieux voir les personnes derrière les gros titres. En effet, les enfants et les jeunes méritent mieux qu’être l’objet de politiques, d’accords entre adultes ou de débats sur ce qui est bon pour eux. Voilà pourquoi je m’oppose fermement au choix du gouvernement écossais d’adopter une série de mesures qui vont faire du mal aux enfants.

    De grâce, regardons derrière les gros titres des journaux, et voyons les vraies personnes. Les femmes sont de vraies personnes. D’autres femmes, et moi-même, qui sommes de vraies personnes, nous opposons à la falsification de la réalité de ce que représente l’idéologie transgenre.

    Je suis une femme de 64 ans qui a eu la plupart du temps une vie heureuse. Mais quand j’avais 9, 10, 11 ans, et un peu plus, j’étais très malheureuse de constater que, contre ma volonté, j’étais condamnée à être une femme.

    Je ne me « sentais » pas femme. Je ne pouvais pas envisager l’idée de devenir une femme. Cela signifiait avoir des seins, des règles, un destin de femme mariée, de servitude et de bébés. Les attentes physiques et sociales du fait « d’être une femme » m’horrifiaient.

    Traduction : #Tradfem
    Version originale : https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/13575/maggie-mellon-scotgov-embracing-policies-which-will-harm-children-i-an
    Maggie Mellon, militante féministe et ancienne assistante sociale spécialisée dans la protection de l’enfance, déclare que le gouvernement écossais se prépare à adopter des mesures concernant les questions transgenre qui risquent d’être nocives pour les enfants, et elle affirme qu’un nombre croissant de femmes y sont opposées.
    #Ecosse #Transgenrisme #féministes

  • Maps Mania: Unboxing the Shetlands
    http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2018/10/unboxing-shetlands.html

    Yesterday the Scottish government passed a law which makes it illegal to place the Shetlands Islands in an inset box on a map of Scotland.

    Just as Hawaii is often shown in an inset box on maps of the United States the Shetland Islands are often placed in an inset box on maps of Scotland. By making it illegal to place the Shetland Islands inside an inset box the politicians have created a huge problem for cartographers.

    Or have they?

    My solution to this problem is simply Unboxing the Shetlands and placing the rest of Scotland in an inset box instead. This simple and elegant solution to the new law will hopefully satisfy everybody.

    Obviously my solution does not quite fit the letter of the new law which requires that the islands be “displayed in a manner that accurately and proportionately represents their geographical location in relation to the rest of Scotland”. However I think it does fit the spirit of the law in that it more accurately reflects the huge cultural and historical significance of the islands. My map obviously has the additional benefit of putting Scotland back in the box where it belongs.

    #cartographie #Écosse #Shetlands #LOL

    • À quand une loi du même genre pour la Corse ?

      Note : ça me rappelle mes débuts sur le module de cartographie de SAS, il y a vraiment longtemps. Les fonds de carte fournis par SAS Institute plaçait la Corse en encart dans le Golfe de Gascogne. Ça n’avait pas duré très longtemps.

      C’est vrai qu’il y a de la place à utiliser ; d’ailleurs, c’est souvent là que sont placés les encarts pour les DOM.

  • University of Glasgow publishes report into historical slavery

    The University of Glasgow has published a comprehensive report into the institution’s historical links with racial slavery.

    The study acknowledges that whilst it played a leading role in the abolitionist movement, the University also received significant financial support from people whose wealth at least in part derived from slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    The Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow report, co-authored by Professor Simon Newman and Dr Stephen Mullen, both from the University of Glasgow, follows a year-long investigation into bequests, support and other ways the University might have benefited from slavery-related wealth.

    It estimates the present-day value of all monies given to the University which might have been fully or partly derived from slavery to be in the order of tens of millions of pounds, depending on the indexation formula.

    The University has now agreed a proactive programme of reparative justice which includes the creation of a centre for the study of slavery and a memorial or tribute at the University in the name of the enslaved.

    The University is also working with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and hopes to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen academic collaboration between the two institutions.

    Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “The University of Glasgow has a proud record of anti-slavery activity including petitioning Parliament to abolish slavery and awarding an honorary degree to the emancipationist, William Wilberforce. Glasgow also educated James McCune Smith, a formerly enslaved New Yorker who became the first ever African American to receive a medical degree.

    “This report has been an important undertaking and commitment to find out if the University benefitted from slavery in the past. Although the University never owned enslaved people or traded in the goods they produced, it is now clear we received significant financial support from people whose wealth came from slavery.

    “The University deeply regrets this association with historical slavery which clashes with our proud history of support for the abolition of both the slave trade and slavery itself.

    “Looking to the future, the University has set out a programme of reparative justice through which we will seek to acknowledge this aspect of the University’s past, enhance awareness and understanding of historical slavery, and forge positive partnerships with new partners including the University of the West Indies.”

    The University will also work to further enhance awareness and understanding of the history and its connections to both slavery and abolitionism.

    Professor Simon Newman, the University of Glasgow report’s co-author, said: “The University of Glasgow has made history in the UK today by acknowledging that alongside its proud history of abolitionism is an equally significant history of financially benefitting from racial slavery. In doing this, Glasgow follows in the footsteps of leading American universities which have confronted the role of slavery in their histories.

    “The University of Glasgow is an institution that grew in a city tied to the trade in tobacco, sugar and cotton, all of which were initially produced by enslaved Africans. Launching an in-depth investigation to look at how the University might have benefited from the profits of racial slavery was, in my opinion, a brave decision. But it is a decision rooted in the core values of an educational institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth and social justice.

    “I am delighted that we have acknowledged our past, albeit indirect, ties to racial slavery and been inspired to develop new and exciting opportunities and collaborations for students and academics alike as part of a rolling programme of reparative justice.”

    One of the three external advisors to the slavery report was Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies; along with Professor Sir Geoff Palmer, a leading civil rights and equality campaigner and Graham Campbell, a Glasgow City Council councillor and an activist for African-Caribbean issues in Scotland.

    Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said: “I have looked closely at the report, reading it within the context of the University of Glasgow-University of the West Indies framework for mutual recognition and respect.

    “The approach adopted by the University of Glasgow is commendable and is endorsed by the UWI as an excellent place to begin. Both universities are committed to excellent and ethical research, teaching and public service.

    “I celebrate colleagues in Glasgow for taking these first steps and keenly anticipate working through next steps.”

    The University has accepted the recommendations in the report. This commits it to:

    Publish the Senior Management Group’s statement of July 2016, along with the final version of the report detailing the research and conclusions of the research into how the University benefited from the profits of historical slavery, and a statement describing the reparative justice actions to be undertaken by the University.
    Strive to increase the racial diversity of students and staff and to reduce the degree attainment gap, in line with the University of Glasgow’s Equality and Diversity Policy. This will include awarding scholarships to BAME students of Afro-Caribbean descent to help address their under-representation in the University.
    Pursue the negotiation and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Glasgow and the University of the West Indies, designed to fit the needs and requirements of UWI staff and students, while working in alignment with the educational and research objectives of the University of Glasgow.
    Create an interdisciplinary centre for the study of historical slavery and its legacies, including modern slavery and trafficking.
    Inaugurate a named professorship, a rotating post to be awarded to University of Glasgow academics undertaking significant research relevant to historical and modern slavery and reparative justice.
    Name a major new University building or space to commemorate a significant figure, perhaps James McCune Smith, with appropriate signage and public-facing information.
    Add a commemorative plaque to the Gilbert Scott Building, explaining that this was the site of the house of Robert Bogle, a West India merchant who owned many enslaved people, and who was one of a number of people who made money from slavery and who then later donated funds for the construction of the building.
    Develop a Hunterian exhibition exploring the often unknown and unexpected ways in which some items within the collections are related to the history of racial slavery.
    Develop a creative arts and sciences series (under the auspices of the new centre), with performances, events and lectures.

    https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_607154_en.html

    #esclavage #histoire #rapport
    cc @reka

    Ici pour télécharger le rapport :
    https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_607547_en.pdf

    Autres documents sur l’esclavage sur le portail de l’université de Glasgow :
    https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/slavery

  • L’#Écosse, premier pays à distribuer gratuitement des #protections_hygiéniques
    https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/08/30/l-ecosse-premier-pays-a-distribuer-gratuitement-des-protections-hygieniques_

    Le gouvernement écossais a annoncé la mise en place d’un programme destiné à fournir gratuitement des protections périodiques aux 395 000 élèves et étudiantes du pays. Une première mondiale, qui coûtera 6,4 millions d’euros.

    « Dans un pays aussi riche que l’Écosse, il est inacceptable que des personnes soient obligées de lutter pour s’acheter des produits sanitaires de base, a déclaré le 24 août Aileen Campbell, membre du Parlement. Je suis fière que l’Ecosse prenne la tête du mouvement contre la #pauvreté liée aux règles et je salue le soutien des autorités locales, des #écoles et des #universités. »

    #femmes #fille

  • MHI Vestas Inks 100-Turbine Deal for Moray East OWF | Offshore Wind
    https://www.offshorewind.biz/2018/08/21/mhi-vestas-inks-100-turbine-deal-for-moray-east-owf

    After being selected as the preferred turbine supplier for the Moray East offshore wind project in October 2017, MHI Vestas today (21 August) signed a conditional agreement with Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Limited for the supply and installation of one hundred of its V164-9.5 MW offshore wind turbines.

    The 950 MW offshore wind project, located 22km off the coast of Scotland, won a Contract for Difference (CfD) from the UK Government in 2017, under which it will supply electricity at GBP 57.50/MWhr.

    MHI Vestas CEO, Philippe Kavafyan, said: “With this conditional agreement, we are exceptionally pleased to see Moray East move one step closer to Final Investment Decision.

    The supply of 100 units of our V164-9.5 MW turbines, the most powerful commercially available turbine in the world, is confirming MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s strong UK pipeline,” Kavafyan said. “This translates into clean energy jobs locally and across the UK through our production of blades on the Isle of Wight and the local offshore wind supply chain.

    Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Ltd – a joint venture company owned by EDP Renewables (56.7%), ENGIE (23.3%) and Diamond Generating Europe Limited (DGE) (20%) – recently announced Fraserburgh as the preferred Operations and Maintenance (O&M) port for the project.

    The O&M port will provide the principal onshore base from which the wind farm will be operated, and from which routine maintenance activities will be undertaken.

    DEME Group’s subsidiary GeoSea will be responsible for the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) of wind turbine foundations and three offshore substation foundations, and will also transport and install the three OSS topsides.

  • Pharma, profit & politique 1/5 : #Afrique_du_Sud

    Opposition contre le prix des traitements du cancer du sein

    Le #prix exorbitant des médicaments est un problème global qui prive des millions de personnes à travers le monde des traitements essentiels dont elles ont besoin. En réaction, plusieurs initiatives de la société civile se sont formées pour garantir un meilleur accès aux médicaments. Parmi elles, #RocheGreedKills en Afrique du Sud se bat pour un traitement contre le #cancer du sein abordable. Les géants de la pharma, eux, tentent d’empêcher virulemment toute nouvelle réforme.


    https://www.publiceye.ch/fr/themes-et-contexte/sante/brevets-et-acces-aux-medicaments/pharma-profit-politik-15-suedafrika
    #industrie_pharmaceutique #big-pharma #médicaments #accès_aux_médicaments #santé
    cc @fil

  • ’Heartbreaking’: fire guts Glasgow School of Art for second time
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/16/firefighters-tackle-blaze-at-glasgow-school-of-art

    The Glasgow School of Art has been devastated by a huge fire, only four years after parts of the building were destroyed by a smaller blaze.
    Flames spread through Glasgow School of Art in Scotland – in pictures


    More than 120 firefighters and 20 appliances were called to tackle the blaze, which began at about 11.15pm on Friday and spread to a neighbouring music venue, the O2 ABC.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=5nZBi_1tOEo

    The grade-A listed building appears to have been gutted by the fire and had its roof and upper floors destroyed. Firefighters were unable to enter the building because of fears its walls might collapse.

    Residents said the heat was so intense it could be felt several streets away, with chunks of blazing timber and debris raining down on neighbouring streets. Police evacuated 27 people from nearby properties as a precaution, but there were no reported casualties.

    #art #Charles-Rennie-Mackintosh #Arts-and-Crafts #Art-Nouveau #Glasgow #Ecosse

    • New figures reveal at least 449 homeless deaths in UK in the last year

      On the streets, in a hospital, a hostel or a B&B: across the UK the deaths of people without a home have gone unnoticed.

      Tonight we’re attempting to shed new light on a hidden tragedy.

      Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggests at least 449 homeless people have died in the UK in the last year – at least 65 of them on the streets.

      The homeless charity Crisis says the figures are “deeply shocking”. They want such deaths to be better investigated and recorded.

      https://www.channel4.com/news/new-figures-reveal-at-least-449-homeless-deaths-in-uk-in-the-last-year

      #statistiques #chiffres

    • “A national scandal”: 449 people died homeless in the last year

      A grandmother who made potted plant gardens in shop doorways, found dead in a car park. A 51-year-old man who killed himself the day before his temporary accommodation ran out. A man who was tipped into a bin lorry while he slept.

      These tragic stories represent just a few of at least 449 people who the Bureau can today reveal have died while homeless in the UK in the last 12 months - more than one person per day.

      After learning that no official body counted the number of homeless people who have died, we set out to record all such deaths over the course of one year. Working with local journalists, charities and grassroots outreach groups to gather as much information as possible, the Bureau has compiled a first-of-its-kind database which lists the names of the dead and more importantly, tells their stories.

      The findings have sparked outrage amongst homeless charities, with one expert calling the work a “wake-up call to see homelessness as a national emergency”.

      Our investigation has prompted the Office for National Statistics to start producing its own figure on homeless deaths.

      We found out about the deaths of hundreds of people, some as young as 18 and some as old as 94. They included a former soldier, a quantum physicist, a travelling musician, a father of two who volunteered in his community, and a chatty Big Issue seller. The true figure is likely to be much higher.

      Some were found in shop doorways in the height of summer, others in tents hidden in winter woodland. Some were sent, terminally ill, to dingy hostels, while others died in temporary accommodation or hospital beds. Some lay dead for hours, weeks or months before anyone found them. Three men’s bodies were so badly decomposed by the time they were discovered that forensic testing was needed to identify them.

      They died from violence, drug overdoses, illnesses, suicide and murder, among other reasons. One man’s body showed signs of prolonged starvation.

      “A national disgrace”

      Charities and experts responded with shock at the Bureau’s findings. Howard Sinclair, St Mungo’s chief executive, said: “These figures are nothing short of a national scandal. These deaths are premature and entirely preventable.”

      “This important investigation lays bare the true brutality of our housing crisis,” said Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter. “Rising levels of homelessness are a national disgrace, but it is utterly unforgivable that so many homeless people are dying unnoticed and unaccounted for.”
      “This important investigation lays bare the true brutality of our housing crisis"

      Our data shows homeless people are dying decades younger than the general population. The average age of the people whose deaths we recorded was 49 for men and 53 for women.

      “We know that sleeping rough is dangerous, but this investigation reminds us it’s deadly,” said Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis. “Those sleeping on our streets are exposed to everything from sub-zero temperatures, to violence and abuse, and fatal illnesses. They are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence, twice as likely to die from infections, and nine times more likely to commit suicide.”

      The Bureau’s Dying Homeless project has sparked widespread debate about the lack of data on homeless deaths.

      Responding to our work, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has now confirmed that it will start compiling and releasing its own official estimate - a huge step forward.

      For months the ONS has been analysing and cross-checking the Bureau’s database to create its own methodology for estimating homeless deaths, and plans to produce first-of-their-kind statistics in December this year.

      A spokesperson said the information provided by the Bureau “helps us develop the most accurate method of identifying all the deaths that should be counted.”
      Naming the dead

      Tracking homeless deaths is a complex task. Homeless people die in many different circumstances in many different places, and the fact they don’t have a home is not recorded on death certificates, even if it is a contributing factor.

      Click here to explore the full project

      There are also different definitions of homelessness. We used the same definition as that used by homeless charity Crisis; it defines someone as homeless if they are sleeping rough, or in emergency or temporary accommodation such as hostels and B&Bs, or sofa-surfing. In Northern Ireland, we were only able to count the deaths of people registered as officially homeless by the Housing Executive, most of whom were in temporary accommodation while they waited to be housed.

      For the past nine months we have attended funerals, interviewed family members, collected coroners’ reports, spoken to doctors, shadowed homeless outreach teams, contacted soup kitchens and hostels and compiled scores of Freedom of Information requests. We have scoured local press reports and collaborated with our Bureau Local network of regional journalists across the country. In Northern Ireland we worked with The Detail’s independent journalism team to find deaths there.

      Of the 449 deaths in our database, we are able to publicly identify 138 people (we withheld the identity of dozens more at the request of those that knew them).

      Of the cases in which we were able to find out where people died, more than half of the deaths happened on the streets.

      These included mother-of-five Jayne Simpson, who died in the doorway of a highstreet bank in Stafford during the heatwave of early July. In the wake of her death the local charity that had been working with her, House of Bread, started a campaign called “Everyone knows a Jayne”, to try to raise awareness of how easy it is to fall into homelessness.

      Forty-one-year-old Jean Louis Du Plessis also died on the streets in Bristol. He was found in his sleeping bag during the freezing weather conditions of Storm Eleanor. At his inquest the coroner found he had been in a state of “prolonged starvation”.

      Russell Lane was sleeping in an industrial bin wrapped in an old carpet when it was tipped into a rubbish truck in Rochester in January. He suffered serious leg and hip injuries and died nine days later in hospital. He was 48 years old.

      In other cases people died while in temporary accommodation, waiting for a permanent place to call home. Those included 30-year-old John Smith who was found dead on Christmas Day, in a hostel in Chester.

      Or James Abbott who killed himself in a hotel in Croydon in October, the day before his stay in temporary accommodation was due to run out. A report from Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group said: “He [Mr Abbott] said his primary need was accommodation and if this was provided he would not have an inclination to end his life.” We logged two other suicides amongst the deaths in the database.

      Many more homeless people were likely to have died unrecorded in hospitals, according to Alex Bax, CEO of Pathways, a homeless charity that works inside several hospitals across England. “Deaths on the street are only one part of the picture,” he said. “Many homeless people also die in hospital and with the right broad response these deaths could be prevented.”
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      Rising levels of homelessness

      The number of people sleeping rough has doubled in England and Wales in the last five years, according to the latest figures, while the number of people classed as officially homeless has risen by 8%.

      In Scotland the number of people applying to be classed as homeless rose last year for the first time in nine years. In Northern Ireland the number of homeless people rose by a third between 2012 and 2017.

      Analysis of government figures also shows the number of people housed in bed and breakfast hotels in England and Wales increased by a third between 2012 and 2018, with the number of children and pregnant women in B&Bs and hostels rising by more than half.

      “Unstable and expensive private renting, crippling welfare cuts and a severe lack of social housing have created this crisis,” said Shelter’s Neate. “To prevent more people from having to experience the trauma of homelessness, the government must ensure housing benefit is enough to cover the cost of rents, and urgently ramp up its efforts to build many more social homes.”

      The sheer scale of people dying due to poverty and homelessness was horrifying, said Crisis chief executive Sparkes.“This is a wake-up call to see homelessness as a national emergency,” he said.

      Breaking down the data

      Across our dataset, 69% of those that died were men and 21% were women (for the remaining 10% we did not have their gender).

      For those we could identify, their ages ranged between 18 and 94.

      At least nine of the deaths we recorded over the year were due to violence, including several deaths which were later confirmed to be murders.

      Over 250 were in England and Wales, in part because systems to count in London are better developed than elsewhere in the UK.

      London was the location of at least 109 deaths. The capital has the highest recorded rough sleeper count in England, according to official statistics, and information on the well-being of those living homeless is held in a centralised system called CHAIN. This allowed us to easily record many of the deaths in the capital although we heard of many others deaths in London that weren’t part of the CHAIN data.

      In Scotland, we found details of 42 people who died in Scotland in the last year, but this is likely a big underestimate. Many of the deaths we registered happened in Edinburgh, while others were logged from Glasgow, the Shetland Islands and the Outer Hebrides.
      “We know that sleeping rough is dangerous, but this investigation reminds us it’s deadly”

      Working with The Detail in Northern Ireland, we found details of 149 people who died in the country. Most died while waiting to be housed by the country’s Housing Executive - some may have been in leased accommodation while they waited, but they were officially classed as homeless.

      “Not only will 449 families or significant others have to cope with their loss, they will have to face the injustice that their loved one was forced to live the last days of their life without the dignity of a decent roof over their head, and a basic safety net that might have prevented their death,” Sparkes from Crisis. No one deserves this.”

      A spokesperson from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said:

      “Every death of someone sleeping rough on our streets is one too many and we take this matter extremely seriously.

      “We are investing £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness, and have set out bold plans backed by £100m in funding to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2027."


      https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2018-10-08/homelessness-a-national-scandal?token=ssTw9Mg2I2QU4AYduMjt3Ny
      #noms #donner_un_nom #sortir_de_l'anonymat

    • Homelessness kills: Study finds third of homeless people die from treatable conditions

      Nearly a third of homeless people die from treatable conditions, meaning hundreds of deaths could potentially have been prevented, a major new study shows.

      The research by University College London (UCL), which was exclusively shared with the Bureau, also shows that homeless people are much more likely to die from certain conditions than even the poorest people who have a place to live.

      The findings come as the final count from our Dying Homeless project shows an average of 11 homeless people a week have died in the UK in the last 18 months. We have been collecting data dating back to October 2017 and telling the stories of those who have died on the streets or in temporary accommodation; our tally now stands at 796 people. Of those people we know the age of, more than a quarter were under 40 when then they died.

      While many might assume hypothermia or drug and alcohol overdoses kill the majority of homeless people, this latest research by UCL shows that in fact most homeless people die from illnesses. Nearly a third of the deaths explored by UCL were from treatable illnesses like tuberculosis, pneumonia or gastric ulcers which could potentially have improved with the right medical care.

      In February 2018, 48-year old Marcus Adams died in hospital after suffering from tuberculosis. The same year, 21 year old Faiza died in London, reportedly of multi-drug resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. Just before Christmas in 2017, 48-year-old former soldier Darren Greenfield died from an infection and a stroke in hospital. He had slept rough for years after leaving the army.

      “To know that so many vulnerable people have died of conditions that were entirely treatable is heartbreaking,” said Matthew Downie, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Crisis. The government should make sure all homeless deaths were investigated to see if lessons could be learned, he said.

      “But ultimately, 800 people dying homeless is unacceptable - we have the solutions to ensure no one has to spend their last days without a safe, stable roof over their head.
      “To know that so many vulnerable people have died of conditions that were entirely treatable is heartbreaking”

      “By tackling the root causes of homelessness, like building the number of social homes we need and making sure our welfare system is there to support people when they fall on hard times, governments in England, Scotland and Wales can build on the positive steps they’ve already taken to reduce and ultimately end homelessness.”
      Twice as likely to die of strokes

      Academics at UCL explored nearly 4,000 in-depth medical records for 600 people that died in English hospitals between 2013 and 2016 who were homeless when they were admitted. They compared them to the deaths of a similar group of people (in terms of age and sex) who had somewhere to live but were in the lowest socio-economic bracket.

      The research gives unprecedented insight into the range of medical causes of homeless deaths, and provides yet another reminder of how deadly homelessness is.

      The homeless group was disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, which includes strokes and heart disease. The researchers found homeless people were twice as likely to die of strokes as the poorest people who had proper accommodation.

      A fifth of the 600 deaths explored by UCL were caused by cancer. Another fifth died from digestive diseases such as intestinal obstruction or pancreatitis.

      Our database shows homeless people dying young from cancers, such as Istvan Kakas who died aged 52 in a hospice after battling leukaemia.

      Istvan, who sold The Big Issue, had received a heroism award from the local mayor after he helped save a man and his daughter from drowning. Originally from Hungary, he had previously worked as a chef under both Gordon Ramsay and Michael Caines.

      Rob Aldridge, lead academic on the UCL team, told the Bureau: “Our research highlights a failure of the health system to care for this vulnerable group in a timely and appropriate manner.”

      “We need to identify homeless individuals at risk earlier and develop models of care that enable them to engage with interventions proven to either prevent or improve outcomes for early onset chronic disease.”

      Of the deaths we have logged in the UK 78% were men, while 22% were female (of those where the gender was known). The average age of death for men was 49 years old and 53 years old for women.

      “It is easy for them to get lost in the system and forgotten about”
      The spread of tuberculosis

      In Luton, Paul Prosser from the NOAH welfare centre has seen a worrying prevalence of tuberculosis, particularly amongst the rough sleeping migrant community. A service visits the centre three times a year, screening for TB. “Last time they came they found eight people with signs of the illness, that’s really concerning,” said Prosser.

      “There are a lot of empty commercial properties in Luton and you find large groups of desperate homeless people, often migrants, squatting in them. It is easy for them to get lost in the system and forgotten about and then, living in such close quarters, that is when the infection can spread.”

      “When people dip in and out of treatment that is when they build a resistance to the drugs,” Prosser added. “Some of these people are leading chaotic lives and if they are not engaging that well with the treatment due to having nowhere to live then potentially that is when they become infectious.”

      One man NOAH was helping, Robert, died in mid-2017 after moving from Luton to London. The man, originally from Romania, had been suffering from TB for a long time but would only access treatment sporadically. He was living and working at a car-wash, as well as rough sleeping at the local airport.

      Making them count

      For the last year the Bureau has been logging the names and details of people that have died homeless since October 1, 2017. We started our count after discovering that no single body or organisation was recording if and when people were dying while homeless.

      More than 80 local news stories have been written about the work and our online form asking for details of deaths has been filled in more than 140 times.

      Our work and #MakeThemCount hashtag called for an official body to start collecting this vital data, and we were delighted to announce last October that the Office for National Statistics is now collating these figures. We opened up our database to ONS statisticians to help them develop their methodology.

      We also revealed that local authority reviews into homeless deaths, which are supposed to take place, were rarely happening. Several councils, including Brighton & Hove, Oxford, Malvern and Leeds have now said they will undertake their own reviews into deaths in their area, while others, such as Haringey, have put in place new measures to log how and when people die homeless.

      Councillor Emina Ibrahim, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, told the Bureau: “The deaths of homeless people are frequently missed in formal reviews, with their lives unremembered. Our new procedure looks to change that and will play an important part in helping us to reduce these devastating and avoidable deaths.”

      Members of the public have also come together to remember those that passed away. In the last year there have been protests in Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester, memorial services in Brighton, Luton and London, and physical markers erected in Long Eaton and Northampton. Last week concerned citizens met in Oxford to discuss a spate of homeless deaths in the city.

      In a response to the scale of the deaths, homeless grassroots organisation Streets Kitchen are now helping to organise a protest and vigil which will take place later this week, in London and Manchester.

      After a year of reporting on this issue, the Bureau is now happy to announce we are handing over the counting project to the Museum of Homelessness, an organisation which archives, researches and presents information and stories on homelessness.
      “The sheer number of people who are dying whilst homeless, often avoidably, is a national scandal”

      The organisation’s co-founder Jess Turtle said they were honoured to be taking on this “massively important” work.

      “The sheer number of people who are dying whilst homeless, often avoidably, is a national scandal,” she said. “Museum of Homelessness will continue to honour these lives and we will work with our community to campaign for change as long as is necessary.”

      Matt Downie from Crisis said the Bureau’s work on the issue had achieved major impact. “As it comes to an end, it is difficult to overstate the importance of the Dying Homeless Project, which has shed new light on a subject that was ignored for too long,” he said. “It is an encouraging step that the ONS has begun to count these deaths and that the stories of those who have so tragically lost their lives will live on through the Museum of Homelessness.”

      The government has pledged to end rough sleeping by 2027, and has pledged £100m to try to achieve that goal, as part of an overall £1.2bn investment into tackling homelessness.

      “No one is meant to spend their lives on the streets, or without a home to call their own,” said Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. “Every death on our streets is too many and it is simply unacceptable to see lives cut short this way.”

      “I am also committed to ensuring independent reviews into the deaths of rough sleepers are conducted, where appropriate – and I will be holding local authorities to account in doing just that.”

      https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2019-03-11/homelessness-kills

      #statistiques #chiffres #mortalité

    • Homeless Link responds to Channel 4 report on homeless deaths

      Today, The Bureau Investigative of Journalism released figures that revealed almost 800 people who are homeless have died over the last 18 months, which is an average of 11 every week. The report also shows that a third (30%) of the homeless deaths were from treatable conditions that could have improved with the right medical care.
      Many other deaths in the study, beyond that third, were from causes like suicide and homicide.

      Responding Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: “These figures bring to light the shocking inequalities that people who experience homelessness face. People are dying on our streets and a significant number of them are dying from treatable or preventable health conditions.

      “We must address the fact that homelessness is a key health inequality and one of the causes of premature death. People who are experiencing homelessness struggle to access our health services. Core services are often too exclusionary or inflexible for people who are homeless with multiple and complex needs. This means people aren’t able to access help when they need it, instead being forced to use A&E to “patch up” their conditions before being discharged back to the streets. Services need to be accessible, for example by expanding walk-in primary care clinics or offering longer GP appointment times to deal with people experiencing multiple needs. We also need to expand specialist health services for people who are homeless to stop people falling through the gaps.

      “This research also highlights the other causes of death that people who are homeless are more likely to experience. Research shows that people who are homeless are over nine times more likely to take their own life than the general population and 17 times more likely to be the victims of violence.

      “Homeless Link is calling on the Government in its upcoming Prevention Green Paper to focus on addressing these inequalities, start to tackle the structural causes of homelessness, and make sure everyone has an affordable, healthy and safe place to call home and the support they need to keep it.”

      https://www.homeless.org.uk/connect/news/2019/mar/11/homeless-link-responds-to-channel-4-report-on-homeless-deaths

  • Écosse. Le pays où le vent tourne

    Face à l’urgence climatique, loin des envolées lyriques, certains avancent sans faire de bruit. C’est le cas de l’Écosse, qui table sur une électricité 100 % renouvelable en 2020. Pris en main par les habitants, ce tournant change la vie des plus modestes.

    https://lequatreheures.com/episodes/ecosse-pays-vent-qui-tourne
    #Ecosse #énergie_éolienne #énergie #électricité #alternatives #énergie_renouvelable

  • Holidays in the #Highlands. The development of mass tourism in the 18th and 19th centuries

    Long weighed down by historical prejudice, the Highlands slowly started to attract the public’s interest from the mid-18th century onwards. With the development of mass tourism, public perceptions of the Scottish region gradually improved, fostering its integration within Great Britain.

    http://www.booksandideas.net/Scottish-Tourism.html
    #Ecosse #tourisme #tourisme_de_masse #géographie_culturelle

    L’Invention de l’Écosse. Premiers touristes dans les Highlands

    Que serait l’Écosse sans #Walter_Scott ? Sous sa plume, l’histoire tourmentée de la région devint #légende. Et ses lochs insondables, ses montagnes battues par les éléments, ses ruines « gothiques », son peuple aux coutumes archaïques l’incarnation d’un passé grandiose. Au XVIIIe siècle, lettrés, curieux, explorateurs et amateurs du premier #romantisme sont ainsi, peu à peu, partis à la découverte des Highlands. En quelques années, cet attrait pour la nature sauvage en a fait la destination la plus prisée des Britanniques. Sur le terrain, on se confronte avec étonnement aux « indigènes », on s’émerveille, on apprend l’art du loisir et du voyage : de nouvelles routes surgissent, de nouvelles auberges, des circuits balisés ; une économie du loisir se met en place. Pour le plus grand profit des habitants. Et du royaume tout entier, qui voit ainsi la pacification de contrées hostiles à la Couronne.


    http://www.editions-vendemiaire.com/catalogue/collection-chroniques/l-invention-de-l-ecosse-premiers-touistes-dans-les-highlands-m
    #identité_nationale #nationalisme #livre #montagne

  • Edinburgh principal faces revolt by 300 professors over pensions

    The new principal of Scotland’s largest university is facing a revolt from hundreds of senior staff members over his refusal to speak out against a “devastating” downgrade to their pensions.

    More than 300 professors at the University of Edinburgh have signed an open letter to Peter Mathieson, urging him to join calls for Universities UK (UUK) to back down in an industrial dispute that has caused disruption on campuses across Britain.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/f6a6234e-1bff-11e8-95c3-8b5a448e6e58
    #université #UK #Angleterre (oui, je sais, je sais... mais c’est pour le retrouver) #Ecosse #Edimbourg #université_d'Edimbourg #retraites #résistance

  • The refugees who brought hope to a Scottish island

    A small regeneration is taking place on the island. Four new babies have been born to the Syrian families and another is on the way. In their own way they are bringing optimism to a west of Scotland community that had almost forgotten what it meant.


    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/24/bute-scotland-syrian-refugees-asylum?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet
    #Ecosse #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #renaissance #solidarité #Bute #accueil #îles

  • Mer du Nord : le chantier faramineux du démantèlement des puits de pétrole le monde - Eric Albert - 31 Novembre 2017

    Après 40 ans d’exploitation des hydrocarbures, il faut démonter les plates-formes offshore. Un défi logistique, écologique et financier titanesque.
    http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2017/11/30/mer-du-nord-le-chantier-faramineux-du-demantelement-des-puits-de-petrole_522

    Quand l’énorme monstre de ferraille est arrivé au port anglais d’Hartlepool en mai 2017, Paul Corr, de la société Able UK, en charge de sa destruction, a été le premier à monter à bord. Le décor qui l’attendait sur la plate-forme pétrolière Brent Delta l’a profondément marqué. « Tout était resté en place : les gilets de sauvetage, les vêtements personnels, les photos de famille accrochées aux murs… Dans la cabine du capitaine, il y avait une tasse de café à moitié bue. C’était une vision fantomatique. »

    La plate-forme pétrolière, grande comme London Eye, la grande roue de Londres, et pesant l’équivalent de 2 000 bus, était demeurée exactement en l’état. Quelques mois plus tôt, 160 employés y travaillaient encore, mettant un point final à quatre décennies d’extraction de gaz et de pétrole.

    Le décor d’un vieux James Bond
    Aujourd’hui, une cinquantaine d’ouvriers démontent Brent Delta, morceau par morceau. Les panneaux informatiques poussiéreux de la salle de contrôle sont encore là, comme le décor d’un James Bond des années 1970 laissé à l’abandon. Fin novembre, quelques ouvriers se sont harnachés sur un côté de la plate-forme et ont découpé au chalumeau les dernières poutres qui soutenaient l’héliport et ses étages inférieurs : un pan entier – plusieurs milliers de tonnes d’acier – est venu s’écraser au sol. Plus de 97 % de la structure seront recyclés, souligne Neil Etherington, d’Able UK. En majorité, il s’agit d’acier vendu en vrac.

    La gigantesque structure d’acier est un symbole. En 1976, le champ de pétrole et de gaz de Brent, au large des côtes britanniques, qui a donné son nom au fameux « baril de Brent », a marqué le début de l’exploitation des hydrocarbures en mer du Nord. Aujourd’hui, les réserves, côté britannique, ont été exploitées aux quatre cinquièmes. Le gisement de Brent est presque vide. Delta est l’une des quatre plates-formes qui y avaient été installées et doivent donc être ramenées sur terre…….

    La suite de l’article est payante, mais le principal est dit.

    • La plate-forme pétrolière Brent Delta est démontée morceau par morceau. Les règles sont claires depuis la signature en 1992 de la Convention pour la protection du milieu marin de l’Atlantique du Nord-Est : à la fin de la période d’exploitation, l’industrie pétrolière ne doit rien laisser dans la mer. Des dérogations sont possibles mais elles sont strictement encadrées. Malgré la loi, l’industrie pétrolière rechigne à tout nettoyer. Les énormes colonnes de béton qui soutenaient la plate-forme sont toujours en place, dépassant au-dessus de la crête des vagues. Impossible de les ramener à terre ! D’autant plus que le défi de fond pour la mer du Nord est financier : 56 milliards de livres (62 milliards d’euros) pour tout nettoyer d’ici à 2050. Face à l’ardoise, l’État britannique est obligé de compenser. Il accorde des rabais fiscaux qui peuvent couvrir jusqu’à 75 % des coûts et s’élèvent en moyenne à 45 %. En 2016, pour la première fois de l’histoire du Royaume-Uni, les rentrées fiscales de la mer du Nord, déjà fortement réduites par la chute du prix du pétrole, ont été annulées par les crédits d’impôt du démantèlement. Cela risque de devenir la norme. Et contrairement à la Norvège, le Royaume-Uni n’a jamais constitué de fonds souverain, malgré les 330 milliards de livres (370 milliards d’euros) d’impôts versés par l’industrie depuis les années 1970. En deux générations, l’argent des hydrocarbures s’est évaporé.*

      Il y a 20 ou 30 ans c’était plus simple pour les industriels. On fermait une usine et on laissait les débris dans une friche dédiée aux générations futures. En cas de pollution avérée, c’était l’État qui payait. Aujourd’hui les pétroliers de la mer du Nord vont dire qu’ils n’ont plus d’argent et l’État, qui ne percevra plus les recettes sur toutes les activités dépendant du pétrole, sera au bord de la faillite. Nous avons mis la mer du Nord au pillage, nous mettons toute la planète au pillage, nous laissons aux générations futures un champ de ruines. Comme écrivait Thomas More en 1516 à propos de l’or et l’argent, « La nature, cette excellente mère, les a enfouis à de grandes profondeurs, comme des productions inutiles et vaines, tandis qu’elle expose à découvert l’air, l’eau, la terre et tout ce qu’il y a de bon et de réellement utile. » En 1892 Mendeleïev, l’inventeur de la classification périodique des éléments, présentait cet avis au tsar : « Le pétrole est trop précieux pour être brûlé. Il faut l’utiliser comme matière première de la synthèse chimique » . Ce sont des points de vue éclairés que la société thermo-industrielle a été incapable d’écouter. Tant pis pour elle, tant pis pour tous ceux d’entre nous qui croient que notre niveau de vie n’est pas négociable !
      http://biosphere.blog.lemonde.fr/2017/12/08/le-petrole-etait-trop-precieux-pour-etre-brule

    • Dans cet article, Il apparait que le thatcherisme n’a été que le gaspillage de 330 milliards de livres et qu’après le début de la fin du pétrole et du gaz, la balance commerciale britannique s’est effondrée.

      Il est certain que l’Angleterre donnera l’indépendance à l’Ecosse, à charge pour elle (et ses contribuables de nettoyer le merdier.

      #pétrole #mer_du_nord #pollution #angleterre #écosse #thatcher #Atlantique #Thomas_More #générations_futures #Brent Delta #Royaume-Uni #pillage #ferraille #merdier

  • Indépendances en Europe : les exemples qui inspirent les Catalans
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/251017/independances-en-europe-les-exemples-qui-inspirent-les-catalans

    Proclamer unilatéralement l’indépendance, organiser un référendum irrégulier : ce ne sont pas des pratiques exceptionnelles. De tels scénarios se sont déjà produits sur le continent européen. Même si les circonstances sont très différentes, certains de ces exemples inspirent les autorités catalanes.

    #International #Catalogne #Ecosse #Estonie #indépendance #Lettonie #Lituanie #Montenegro #Slovaquie #Slovénie

  • #Ruth_Davidson, la conservatrice qui voudrait devenir la voix de l’Ecosse
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/230617/ruth-davidson-la-conservatrice-qui-voudrait-devenir-la-voix-de-l-ecosse

    Après une victoire historique en #Ecosse le 8 juin, seule bonne nouvelle pour les #conservateurs britanniques, Ruth Davidson pourrait profiter du revers électoral de la cheffe du gouvernement pour remettre le « soft #Brexit » sur la table.

    #International #Grande-Bretagne #Royaume-Uni #Theresa_May