Socialist Worker

The Asylum Market—the film G4S don’t want you to see

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2539

A new film, The Asylum Market, exposes the dire conditions that asylum seekers in Britain suffer in accommodation provided by security firm G4S.

The film is so damning that its producer, Mark Donne, said the BBC refused to broadcast it following G4S lobbying.

The film includes interviews with asylum seekers who have been housed in G4S properties.

Some say that G4S employees have intimidated and bullied them. One woman said that staff threatened to kick her and her children out of their home if she didn’t put up with a dirty property and flooded kitchen.

Another woman with a five month old baby said she was put in a property infested with cockroaches. She told the film, “When I rang G4S they were nasty and they said, “You’re just a bloody asylum seeker anyway.”

The film was due to be released to coincide with a report from the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) on Tuesday of this week.

Donne was due to appear on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show to promote it. The BBC said he was cut because there was no time to include him.

Vigorous

But Donne said that two producers told him he was cut after “vigorous” representations from G4S.

The HASC report admitted that conditions in the accommodation were a “disgrace” and “shameful”. It found infestations of rodents and insects, leaks and dirty rooms.

G4S is one of three contractors the government has tasked with providing the accommodation. The contracts were due to run out this year—but the Tories extended them for two years.

Yet a report from the National Audit Office in 2014 criticised the behaviour of housing staff towards asylum seekers.

It said some staff entered the properties of female asylum seekers unannounced. Some of the women were likely to have been victims of sexual violence of trafficking.

The report added that many asylum seekers were scared to complain as they feared it could harm their asylum claims.

The film makers of The Asylum Market have released the entire film in response to G4S’ lobbying.


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