The first set of asylum seekers arrived at the Bibby Stockholm on Monday, at Portland Port, Dorset with many more expected.
Pictures show that men were being escorted to the controversial barge and around 50 single men are set to board and more than 500 will shortly live on the barge.
According to refugee charity Care4Calais said that around 20 asylum seekers had their transfers cancelled by lawyers.
BREAKING: First asylum seekers arrive on the Bibby Stockholm barge.
Sky News understand that around 50 single males will be housed on board. It is expected to house over 500 people in total in the coming months.https://t.co/xItZsH7tea
📺 Sky 501 pic.twitter.com/IpT0Jut9iW
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 7, 2023
Care4Calais chief executive Steve Smith said, “None of the asylum seekers we are supporting have gone to the Bibby Stockholm today as legal representatives have had their transfers cancelled.
“Amongst our clients are people who are disabled, who have survived torture and modern slavery and who have had traumatic experiences at sea. To house any human being in a ‘quasi floating prison’ like the Bibby Stockholm is inhumane.
“To try and do so with this group of people is unbelievably cruel. Even just receiving the notices is causing them a great deal of anxiety.
“Human beings should be housed in communities, not barges. The Government could just get on with processing people’s asylum claims; instead they are playing to a gallery that seems to thrive on human suffering.
“We will continue supporting people to challenge their decision.”
Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director, said, “It seems there’s nothing this Government won’t do to make people seeking asylum feel unwelcome and unsafe in this country.
“Reminiscent of the prison hulks from the Victorian era, the Bibby Stockholm is an utterly shameful way to house people who’ve fled terror, conflict and persecution.
“Housing people on a floating barge is likely to be re-traumatising and there should be major concerns about confining each person to living quarters the typical size of a car parking space.”