SCOTLAND’S biggest city is on the brink of a “significant humanitarian crisis” as the eviction of “failed” asylum seekers accelerates, a charity chief has said.

Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee council (SRC), says “mass” evictions are set to begin in Glasgow within days as Home Office contractor Serco tries to clear properties occupied by people deemed to have reached the end of their asylum bids.

A court challenge to the lock-change process resumed at the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday. Govan Law Centre is appealing the initial ruling that the lock-outs, which will leave those affected homeless, could proceed without court orders.

Critics of the Serco’s plan – which the company says was drawn up because it does not receive payments for housing those whose state support has been withdrawn – gathered outside the court to show their continued opposition. They claim that the same protection offered by Scots law to Scottish people from lock-change evictions without a court order should apply to all people, regardless of their immigration status.

Zazai, himself a refugee from Afghanistan, said the gravity of the situation must not be understated. “Today’s appeal at the Court of Session is a landmark moment in housing rights for men and women seeking refugee protection in the UK,” he said. “For too long, across the UK, thousands of people have been forced into street homelessness with no court oversight. This is immoral, and may also be unlawful, depending on the result of today’s hearing.

“We are now facing a significant humanitarian crisis in Glasgow. We expect Serco and the Home Office to begin evicting people on a mass scale in a matter of days, despite ongoing legal proceedings.”

He went on: “There is nowhere safe, dignified and appropriate for lock-change victims to go, and Serco and the Home Office know that. This needs to change and we need to accelerate our collective efforts now in the city.”

READ MORE: Serco evictions: Scottish Government raises 'deep concern'​

It is thought that up to 30 evictions could take place per week, with just 14 days’ grace given to those affected. As many as 95 interim interdicts preventing forced removals have been granted at Glasgow Sheriff Court so far, with more set to take place before the weekend.

After the appeal hearing, Serco – which will hand over responsibility for asylum seeker housing in Glasgow to the Mears Group next month – stated that it has been “providing more accommodation and support for former asylum seekers, who have exhausted all appeals, than any other organisation in Scotland”, and has made £150,000 in funding available to ease hardship.