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British Naturalized Chagossians: Without Land, Without Home



British Naturalized Chagossians: Without Land, Without Home

British citizens of Chagossian descent, who were naturalized after leaving Mauritius, are facing numerous challenges. Maxwell Evenor, a 15-year resident of England and descendant of Chagossians, spoke to Le Dimanche/L’Hebdo about the difficulties they are facing.

They had high hopes and expectations when they left Mauritius to start a new life in the UK, but today, many are struggling to find a place to call home.

While some have found temporary shelter with relatives or rented apartments or shared houses, the regularization of their situation takes time.

This process involved obtaining a national identity number (NI), a certificate of morality, a bank account, employment, and requesting Universal Credit, a welfare benefit worth approximately £300.

However, Evenor explained that to receive Universal Credit, they must first pass the Habitual Residency Test, which required them to have lived in England for at least a month.

This posed obstacles such as homelessness, language barriers, lack of knowledge of the British system, and the absence of specific support for Chagossians to navigate this complex process.

Evenor noted that families with children are given emergency accommodation because they are considered priority cases.

Vulnerable individuals with health problems are assessed for specific needs. On the other hand, adults without children are classified as non-priority cases and no measures are taken to assist them.

Families with children are often moved from one emergency shelter to another, sometimes far from their family ties, exacerbating their situation and leaving them without the necessary support.

“Generationally delayed”. “There is currently no local association offering aid,” Evenor said.

“Some Chagossian groups organized food donations and offer supported with their limited resources on a voluntary basis.”

He lamented that Chagossians suffer from a generational delay due to the poor treatment inflicted by all concerned governments.

“Chagossians are an indigenous people forcibly expelled from their land. Policies aimed to erase their identity and deprived them of their fundamental rights, such as the right to live on their land and practice their culture and language.”

A manifestation is currently taking place outside Crawley Town Hall, where Chagossians are sleeping under tents.

“The council has served them an eviction notice by Tuesday at 5 pm (UK time). There is no current plan or discussion to help Chagossians in difficulty in the UK,” regretted Daniel Aglae.

Source: Defi Media

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