Children’s Commissioner warns against use of hotels for children and pregnant asylum seekers

Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

This week the Commissioner for Children and Young people issued a new report highlighting the troubling use of hotel-type accommodations for children in asylum and homelessness systems, in conflict with established human rights principles.  Such environments can pose severe risks and long-term harm to children’s wellbeing and rights. Unfortunately, the practice persists due to legal and and systemic pressures. 
The report aims to aid decision makers and frontline practitioners by providing a comprehensive human rights framework and evidence based insights to reduce the reliance on such accommodations and mitigate their negative impact. 

At Amma we strongly condemn the use of hotel accommodation for pregnant women and families who are homeless or seeking asylum.

For pregnant women in hotels, the lack of adequate nutrition, autonomy, and sense of safety can pose significant risks to their health and the health of their unborn child. On top of this, the stress and uncertainty associated with seeking asylum is hugely exacerbated by the added burden of inappropriate accommodation.

Likewise, families with children need stable and secure environments that foster healthy child development. Hotels are not designed to provide the necessary care or home environment for children, which can affect all aspects of their development in the long run.

We are proud to have contributed to this report and fully endorse all recommendations from the Scotland’s Children and Young People’s Commissioner. It is vital that local authorities, asylum accommodation providers, and the UK government put in place specific policies and practices that prioritise the rights of every child.