North West Migrants Forum

Asylum seekers urged to know their rights as Home Office moves towards hotel room sharing

ASYLUM seekers are being urged to know their rights as the Home Office begins implementing room sharing in some hotels.

‘Operation Maximisation’ is being introduced in seven hotels across Northern Ireland.

It was thought that the move to a shared room model would, initially, only impact male asylum seekers. But the Law Centre has now confirmed that while the majority of those affected will be at male-only sites, women will also be required to room share.

Following a meeting attended by a range of agencies and organisations, including the North West Migrants Forum, the Law Centre said it was vital that those affected understand their rights.

While most people will have to share a room some people are considered to be “unsuitable” for room sharing based on their physical health, mental health or other circumstance.

A guide just published by the Law Centre explains:

  • Who is exempt/unsuitable for room sharing?
  • Can an individual refuse to share a room?
  • If Mears already know about my situation, do I have to provide evidence again?
  • What is suitable evidence?
  • How do I provide evidence?

You can read the full guidance here: Vacation Rental Home Rules And Wifi Welcome Sign Information Poster (

Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL) has also produced a booklet outlining what asylum seekers can and cannot expect under Operation Maximisation. Click here: ‘Maximisation – Know Our Rights’ to read the full document in Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Pashto, Sinhalese, Spanish, Tamil, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.