Hackney Community Law Centre has published a new report – A Place To Call Home – A Report into the Standard of Accommodation provided to Children in Need in London – documenting into the standard of accommodation provided to migrant families under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
It is frankly shameful that people in London in 2015 are living in these conditions. But we are housing some of the most vulnerable children in some of the most ghastly conditions:
• having to travel two hours to school, and then two hours back again
• having to share a filthy kitchen with 50 other people
• having to defecate into a plastic carrier bag because a toilet is chronically blocked
This is unacceptable.
That is why I was pleased to serve on a panel at the report’s launch on Tuesday night.
I was joined not only by an expert panel, but by some of the families who have been forced into these conditions. Their stories are truly heart-wrenching – these are people who have fallen through the cracks, and Section 17 is their lifeline.
It doesn’t need to be this way. The report sets out a series of recommendations to central government and local authorities that would improve conditions so that these vulnerable children are no longer being housed in these terribly conditions.