THE UK Government must stop using “human suffering on a mass scale” as a policy tool to deal with asylum seekers and refugees, according to a report to be published this week.

The Stop Lock Change Evictions coalition of charities, which includes the Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter, Just Right Scotland and the Network for Social Change among others, will outline 10 recommendations for the UK, Scottish, and local governments to consider in order to fight destitution among immigrant communities.

The coalition will also host an event aimed at getting lawmakers to talk about the “need for urgent, radical and structural changes to the UK asylum support system”.

The charities have been working together as a “collaborative social justice movement” since 2018, when Serco – a multinational private company subcontracted by Westminster to provide accommodation to those seeking asylum in Glasgow – announced that they would change the locks on people’s homes if they were no longer eligible for asylum support, forcing them into homelessness.

The report will outline how “this was a symptom of the UK Government’s long-standing policy of using destitution and homelessness as a tool to enforce immigration policy”.

Graham O’Neill, policy manager at the Scottish Refugee Council, said: “If it weren’t for this [coalition] many vulnerable people would have been callously rendered homeless. That is human suffering on a mass scale, inflicted on those with nothing by a UK state and a company – Serco – worth billions.

“Glasgow’s social justice lawyers, refugee rights agencies and grassroots campaigners have without doubt, saved lives. They have shown how to challenge and frustrate unaccountable state power; we need to keep doing that and inspire other ‘asylum areas’ – Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and many others – to do the same.”

In September, Serco handed over its housing contract to Mearns Group which took up a UK Government contract to provide accommodation to people seeking refugee protection in Scotland for the next seven years. However, dozens of refused refugees are still awaiting eviction by Serco.

The firm’s lock-change evictions in 2018 were deemed lawful in November at the Inner House of the Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court.

The Scottish Government confirmed last week it would introduce new measures to help prevent migrants and refused refugees from becoming destitute. As part of the new Budget, an anti‑destitution strategy covering people with no recourse to public funds is to be developed.

The Home Office has been approached for comment.