Disappointment with court view on Serco lock change policy

Published: 12 Apr 2019

The courts today upheld that dozens of people in Glasgow could be made homeless and vulnerable by Serco’s policy regarding issuing lock-change orders to tenants refused asylum in the UK.

Commenting on the judgment in Ali v Serco Group and Secretary of State for the Home Department, and Rashidi v Serco Group and Secretary of State for the Home Department, Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal for the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, said:

'We remain extremely concerned about Serco’s policy of locking people out of their homes without proper processes or safeguards, and the harsh impact this has on the people affected, leaving them with nowhere to go and in a vulnerable situation on Scotland’s streets.

'We continue to have concerns that the policy fails to comply with people’s human rights including their right to a private and family life.

'We will now consider the most appropriate next course of action, including possible legal intervention in another relevant case.

'Today’s judgment does provide welcome clarification that Serco has obligations under human rights laws when it comes to providing this accommodation and that the UK government cannot simply divest itself of its human rights obligations by outsourcing the provision of public services to private providers.'

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