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Refugee suicide scandal - fight for jobs, homes and services for all
Isai Priya, Refugee Rights campaign
Recent reports show there is an increase in the number of suicides among refugees in the UK. The latest additions to that number are three teenage refugees from Eritrea who have taken their own lives in London. They arrived from the migrant camp in Calais.
Asylum-seeking children and young people are among the most vulnerable in our society. Even at their young age they experience the trauma of war, persecution and poverty as well as dangerous life-risking journeys to get to safety.
This has again been highlighted by the rescue ships carrying refugees which were passed from pillar to post by European governments before finally being allowed to dock in Spain.
As a result some experience post-traumatic stress disorder and suffer from mental distress and depression. Cuts to vital services such as mental health services and education mean that they are left in isolation and continue to suffer silently.
Earlier this year, the Red Cross warned that a lack of government aid for asylum seekers and a sudden cut-off in support is pushing a growing number of vulnerable people into destitution. There has also been a 20% increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers living in food poverty.
Refugees are hit by austerity just like the wider working class, as well as being treated as criminals by the Tory government's policies including the racist 'hostile environment' immigration system of Britain.
The Socialist Party has previously written about the oppressive conditions refugees experience in detention centres. But in the US we are now seeing something even more shocking.
Donald Trump's 'zero-tolerance' policy has seen thousands of refugee children, including toddlers, separated from their parents at the Mexico-US border and held in wire mesh cages. Over a six-week period at least 2,000 children have been separated from their parents. Rightly there has been an uproar and condemnation against this. Ordinary people are sickened by these images.
The Refugee Rights campaign is fighting for the rights of refugees. It's linking the plight and struggle of refugees with working class struggle in Britain. We are demanding immediate access to mental health support and more investment into our vital services - jobs, homes and services for everyone.
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