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"Deeply alarming" - MSF UK response to the Borders Bill

"Deeply alarming" - MSF UK response to the Borders Bill

In response to the Government's Nationality and Borders Bill which was introduced to Parliament today, executive director of MSF UK Vickie Hawkins said:

"These proposals would see some of the world’s most cruel, inhumane approaches to people seeking safety imported to the UK.

"It is deeply alarming that the UK Government is adopting the Australian approach of ‘offshoring’ people. MSF teams have seen first-hand the devastating results of this approach on Nauru island: in 2018 we treated 208 asylum seekers & refugees there, 124 of our patients had suicidal thoughts and 63 had attempted suicide.

"Proposals to arrest and imprison people for not using ‘legal’ means to enter the country are especially appalling given that this Government has done so much to close down safe and legal routes into the UK. Just last year, ministers closed down a scheme providing a safe route to the UK for unaccompanied refugee children in Europe. MSF staff have seen the appalling, dangerous conditions these children face in squalid camps on the Greek islands, and the threat this poses to their mental and physical health, and even their lives.

"Ministers need to understand that this punitive approach to people seeking safety only causes more hardship and suffering for some of the most desperate, vulnerable people in the world."

ENDS.

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This is the press room for MSF UK - the UK office of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

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